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The trust survey for 2019 election of Firstpost CNN-News18 reveals the voting output too: Here’s how

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Firstpost CNN-News18: The National Trust Survey, in the first of its kind TRUST survey conducted across 23 states and published on JAN 26, 2019. analyses the following: Which party do we trust to handle India’s issues? Who is the popular choice for PM? What are the approval ratings for PM Modi’s initiatives?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the preferred choice as Prime Minister in 2019 across India, especially in the northern states. Modi was preferred as next PM by 53% while Congress President Rahul Gandhi scored a distant 26.9%.

However, the response was in favour of the latter in three southern states- Andhra Pradesh (41% for Modi, 64% for Rahul Gandhi), Kerala (37% for Modi, 63% for Rahul Gandhi) and Tamil Nadu (25% for Modi and 60% for Rahul Gandhi). In Karnataka and Telangana, however, 60% had more trust in Modi than Rahul Gandhi (49% and 43% respectively).

On which party is trusted to better handle India’s issues, 40% support BJP on rough average and 20% support Congress. On PM Modi’s initiatives, 70% approve and 30% disapprove. But on the Ram Mandir Ordinance issue, 75% say they would support an ordinance.

Now this is a trust survey and not an opinion poll. It measures the trust level and not the voting inclination. Yet it can perhaps give some indication as to which way the wind blows.

Narendra Modi as preferred choice for premiership definitely gives NDA some edge. Also, support for the Modi initiatives and the ordinance adds to this. At the same time, preference for Rahul Gandhi in the three southern states works against BJP.

Times Now pre-election opinion poll has given much lower-252 seats to NDA mainly due to their 46-seat loss in UP where according to them, SP-BSP alliance will be the clinching factor. And this assumes that the common candidate gets all the votes of the alliance partners But, there is this raging issue about transferring of votes or poaching into each other’s vote bases. On its part, the NDA can and will showcase its performance of good governance, numerous policies and schemes to lure its core voters. In addition to this, the NDA has the brand of Modi, which still enjoys paramount goodwill among large sections of the population.

In the neighbouring state of Bihar, the situation should be in favour of the NDA, which comprises the Janata Dal United, BJP and the Lok Janshakti Party. This coalition scored a vote percentage of around 52 per cent in the last general election. Thanks to Nitish’s sushasan, his acceptability as a development-oriented leader has gone up several notches in mass consciousness during the last decade. UP and Bihar have 120 seats between them.

I think the parties outside any alliance like BJD, AIADMK, TRS and YSR will win among themselves about 75 seats. Even if NDA tally is around 252 as forecast above, any one or more of them can join/extend support to NDA to enable an NDA government

But the fact remains that despite recent Congress victory in the three states, in parliamentary election they are not likely to fare any better because of their negative image in central government vis a vis all positive image of NDA, which is further enhanced by Budget 2019 pronouncements of financial benefits to middle class, labourer in unorganized sector and small farmers.

the NDA has brought pro-poor, pro-Dalit and minorities policies which have transformed their socio-economic conditions. It has been truly successful in all indicators of good governance. It has also ensured a terror free regime. The general election will be contested between the narrow-minded, visionless politics of the Mahagathbandhan/UPA and a futuristic politics of the NDA with a 10 years vision for all round development

Therefore, my assessment is that NDA will achieve absolute majority by winning more than 300 seats and continue with good governance for the next 2 terms.

The writer is a long-standing commentator on contemporary issues

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