MUMBAI: The findings of a State-wide survey conducted by the Sakal Media Group pointed out that the Lok Sabha elections will be a testing time for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party and their popularity. Though Modi has an upper hand ahead of Lok Sabha polls, he is likely to face challenges in Maharashtra.
During the last Lok Sabha elections, the National Democratic Front (NDA) won 42 out of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra. As per the survey results, five years ago, the Modi wave was evident. However, this time, the BJP is unlikely to come to power. More number of participants opined that the Modi wave would not last this time.
The Sakal Media Group carried out this survey through its reporters in the 288 assembly segments. The survey had questions related to the performance of the State and the Central governments, party preferences and choice of prime ministerial candidate, the performance of several MPs and MLAs, the Rafale deal and the reactions on the recent poll results of the five states.
The survey findings pointed out that voters have shared their choice of political parties in the following order as the BJP, the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Shiv Sena. However, around 45 per cent of the voters said they would vote for the NCP if they don’t want to vote for the BJP.
Overall, the Congress is the second party of preference for many voters. As compared to urban voters, rural voters, mostly farmers, preferred the NCP. On the one hand, voters said the BJP, under the leadership of Modi, has no chance of winning this election. On the other hand, they opined that they did not trust the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance).
MODI AHEAD IN THE RACE FOR PRIME MINISTER
Voters from Maharashtra have given their first preference to Narendra Modi for the post of Prime Minister. Over 35 per cent of voters prefer Modi as the prime ministerial candidate. Around 31 per cent of the voters have given their preference to NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar, while 28 per cent backed Rahul Gandhi for this post. As expected, rural voters and farmers said their first choice for the Prime Ministerial candidate is Sharad Pawar.
Considering the responses of participants from all age groups and professions, none of the leaders, other than these three, have secured double-digit percentage as the candidate for the post of Prime Minister.
Though, Prime Minister Modi is the preferred candidate for the post of Prime Minister, around 44 per cent of voters shared that his charisma will not be seen in this election. While speaking about the Modi government’s performance, 36 per cent said his performance has been average while 33 per cent expressed dissatisfaction and 24 per cent participants said the performance has been excellent. In all, 46 per cent of participants shared that corruption has somewhat reduced during Modi’s tenure, 23 per cent said they feel corruption reduced during Modi’s tenure. 26 per cent claimed Modi is an efficient administrator. Maximum participants have said that Rahul Gandhi is heir to dynastic politics.
CONFUSION OVER RAFALE DEAL
While the ruling government and the opposition parties are giving exactly opposite pictures of the Rafale deal, 37 per cent of participants said they cannot say if Rafale deal is a scam, while 32 per cent said it is a scam. Interestingly, among those who claimed that the Rafale deal is a scam are mostly from rural areas and a majority of them are farmers.
INCUMBENCY AGAINST SITTING MPS
There were questions related to the performance of sitting MLAs or MPs in the survey. The question was asked if the participants wanted a change in their constituency. In all, 37 per cent of the participants said they want a different candidate as their Member of Parliament. In all, 24 per cent participants said they want a different candidate from the same party as their MP. Counting these two sets of responses, around 60 per cent of participants said they are not satisfied with the performance of the sitting MP. Similarly, respondents said they are unhappy with the performance of the sitting MLA. In all, 33 per cent of participants said they want a change in the candidate and the political party he or she represents. 21 per cent respondents said they want a different candidate as their MLA from the same political party.
EFFECT OF RESULTS IN 5 STATES
The survey findings pointed out that the results of the elections held in five states recently, namely - Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram will have an impact on the Lok Sabha elections, particularly in Maharashtra. In all, 38 per cent of the participants said the results in the five states will have some impact on the results of the Lok Sabha elections, at least in Maharashtra, while 34 per cent respondents said there will be a major impact of the results in the five states. Considering these two, around 72 per cent of participants said the results of the state elections in these five states will have some impact on Lok Sabha polls. On the contrary, 16 per cent of voters said there will not be any impact on the elections.
BJP, CONG, NCP, SHIV SENA
If elections are held immediately, 27 per cent voters in Maharashtra said they will vote for the BJP, 26 per cent said they will vote for the Congress, while 25 per cent will vote for the NCP and 14 per cent said they will vote for the Shiv Sena. Interestingly, urban voters are more inclined towards the BJP while voters in rural areas prefer the NCP. Among the farmers, the NCP is the first preference while the Congress and the Shiv Sena are the second and the third choices respectively. In all, 46 per cent of voters said the BJP and the Shiv Sena would form an alliance, while 60 per cent of voters said the Congress and the NCP will form an alliance.
‘PERFORMANCE OF FADNAVIS GOVERNMENT IS GOOD’
More number of respondents said they are happy with the Devendra Fadnavis-led government’s performance. Considering the drought situation in the State, the State government’s Jalayukta Shivar is a popular scheme according to many respondents. However, many participants, said the government failed to control farmer suicides. Several others said the State government failed to tackle the drought-like situation. According to the respondents, unemployment is the third issue of concern.
Do you think that the NDA will come to power again?
Yes - 34
No - 37
Can't Say - 29
Who is your preferred PM candidate?
Narendra Modi - 35
Rahul Gandhi - 28
Sharad Pawar - 31
Mamata Banerjee - 02
Mayawati - 02
Kejriwal - 02
Mulayam Singh - 00
Chandrababu Naidu - 00
Which is the most successful task of the Fadnavis government?
Jalayukt Shivar - 30
Maratha Quota - 25
Farm Loan Waiver - 16
Make In Maha - 10
Service Guarantee Bill - 05
Metro Projects - 08
Affordable Housing in cities - 06
What are the important issues in the Lok Sabha polls?
1. Inflation and price rise
2. Farmers’ issues
4. Corruption and Frauds
6. Basic Infrastructure
7. Law & Order and Safety
8. Local issues
Do you feel there should be a change in your constituency?
Sitting MP should get re-elected - 25
Another candidate from the same party should win the election - 24
Sitting MP and the ruling party should change - 37
Can’t say - 13
Do you think the grand coalition is credible?
Yes - 32
No - 37
Can't Say - 31
Do you think there will a tie-up between the BJP and the Shiv Sena?
Yes - 46
No - 22
Can't Say - 32
Will there be an alliance between the Congress and the NCP?
Yes - 61
No - 15
Can't Say - 24
What qualities does Narendra Modi have?
Mature politician - 21
Efficient administrator - 26
Authoritarian - 21
Friend of industrialists -16
Bluff - 13
Intolerant - 03
How do you find Rahul Gandhi as a leader?
Heir to the political dynasty - 29
Mature politician - 16
Mature leader - 15
Immature leader - 17
Developing leader - 23
How do you find Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ performance?
Extraordinary - 23
Okay - 39
Unsatisfactory - 32
Disappointing - 06