The second round of a pre-poll opinion poll conducted by New Delhi-based Lokniti of Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) with ABP News predicts a comfortable victory for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat, where Assembly polls will be held next month.
According to the survey, the ruling party will win 113-121 seats, the Opposition party will get 58-64 seats, and others may end up with 1-7 seats in the 182-seat Assembly of theState. The survey predicts that the BJP is likely to get 46% vote share while the Opposition party is likely to get around 41% of the vote share.
However, notwithstanding the prediction of a victory for the BJP, the second round of the pre-poll survey shows huge gains made by the Opposition party in the last two months, as the BJP’s vote share falls.
The first round of survey was conducted in August this year, when the Congress, the main Opposition party, saw a major split, with over a dozen senior legislators led by leader of the Opposition Shankersinh Vaghela leaving the party in middle of the Rajya Sabha poll, in which party veteran Ahmed Patel barely managed to scrap through.
However, in less than three months, the Opposition party has gained major ground in two politically important regions: Saurashtra and Kutch having 58 Assembly seats, and north Gujarat with 32 Assembly seats.
In Saurashtra, the BJP and the Congress appear neck to neck, with both parties likely to get 42% vote share in the region that sends the largest number of legislators to the Gujarat Assembly. A BJP bastion since 1995, this region is likely to throw surprises — the Patidars, the BJP’s main supporting community, are up in arms against the ruling party over the issue of quotas in education and jobs.
In 2015, the BJP lost in all the district Panchayats in this region as local Panchayat elections happened after the Patidar quota agitation was launched in July 2015. The ruling party is likely to suffer losses in the Patidar belt of Morbi, Rajkot, Amreli and Jamnagar districts.