The Grand Alliance led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is tipped to win a simple majority in the assembly polls starting on Monday, a pre-election survey said on Thursday.
Stumping for Bihar Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Chowdhary in Imamganj where he is going head to head with former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, the Chief Minister said that Chowdhary’s contribution to Bihar was well known and people should vote for him over Manjhi if they wanted to see development in their constituency.
To start with, the India TV-CVoter pre-poll survey projects 119 seats for BJP-led NDA and the Grand alliance of RJD-JD(U) and Congress lagging behind with a slender margin of three seats on 116.
The India Today-Cicero poll also showed the grand alliance as slightly ahead with 122 seats – just at the majority mark – and the NDA close behind with 111 seats.
“Modi is taking no chances in the Bihar polls as his own credibility and the myth surrounding his charisma will be in doubt if the BJP suffers defeat”, pointed out Jai Prakash, a theatre activist. BJP has not even named its Chief Ministerial candidate until now. While the BJP is relying on the Narendra Modi magic, party sources claimed that Sushil Modi is one of the top runners for the CM’s post this time.
The CNN-IBN/IBN 7-Axis Poll saw the JD (U) alliance winning decisively with 137 seats while the NDA trailing with 95 seats. JD(U) would get 89 seats with 26 per cent votes, while RJD would get 48 seats and 15 per cent votes.
Modi addressed four rallies in the state even before the announcement of the assembly polls in July and August, with two official visits during the same period.
Development would be the main election issue. 18 per cent believe price rise is the main issue while 13 per cent said good governance matters the most.
Asked which was the biggest issue for the voters, 17.9 percent said unemployment, 12.7 percent said power cuts, while 25 percent respondents said “can’t say”.
Caste equations play a crucial role in Bihar politics and the opinion poll has once again proved that upper caste voters comprising Brahmin, Rajput or Thakur, Bhumihar and others mostly support the saffron brigade.
The survey says NDA comprising BJP, LJP, RLSP and HAM is projected to get 43 per cent vote share, compared to 41 percent share of the grand alliance.
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Niroha Prasad Yadav said the grand alliance was a “clear winner” since the beginning.