UPA losing ground, PM’s image taking beating, say opinion polls


New Delhi: On the eve of the fourth anniversary of UPA-II, opinion polls have not brought any cheer to the government, predicting slide in the ruling alliance’s tally amid rising dissatisfaction among large sections of urban voters over its performance.

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Headlines Today-CVoter opinion poll predicted that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)’s tally was set to crash by 95 in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. However, it said the biggest surprise was that the UPA’s loss is not automatically translating to big gains for the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

“The lion’s share of the seats would, in fact, be cornered by smaller parties which have not yet disclosed their cards. While this alternative front looks set to bag as many as 68 more seats, the NDA might just add 27 more seats to its 2009 tally,” it said.

CNN-IBN Urban India opinion poll showed that people were largely dissatisfied with the UPA-II government and a majority believed that it does not deserve another term to rule.

According to a press release, the CNN-IBN survey indicated that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was facing a serious credibility crisis as his honest image has taken a beating in view of the present scams and controversies surrounding UPA-II government. He is being perceived as a person who is not bold or tough in taking decisions, showed the opinion poll.

“Among the respondents more than half (56 percent) are dissatisfied with the present term of the UPA government. Two-thirds of the respondents (67 percent) feel that the government has lost its credibility,” the release said.

The opinion poll said the prime minister’s performance in the second term was rated as poor by more than half of the respondents and over a majority (61 percent) of respondents felt he should be replaced. Price rise closely followed by corruption are the seen as the biggest failures of the government.

“As the UPA-II government is set to complete four years, the people feel the present government is weak and lacks the courage to take decisions. The people also feel that there is a rise in corruption in last one year,” the release said.

The CNN-IBN survey said that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was the most preferred leader to become the next prime minister, with maximum support from the respondents, more than twice that of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi or Manmohan Singh.

Gauging the impact of Modi in 2014, the Headlines Today-C Voter opinion poll suggested that projecting Modi as the NDA’s candidate for PM will lead to gains for the UPA, but it will almost double the advantage for the NDA.

The UPA will likely get 23 more seats and the NDA 41 if Modi is the NDA’s PM face, it said.

The opinion poll said the tally of the BJP’s ally Janata Dal-United, which is not keen on Modi, could drop to half in Bihar if it dumps NDA over the issue, while the BJP can win 18 seats in Bihar on its own if it does project Modi.

The Headlines Today-CVoter poll, conducted between March and May 2013 among 1.2 lakh randomly selected people in 540 Lok Sabha segments, had bad tidings for the UPA’s 2014 prospects, indicating the Congress would lose 90 of the 206 seats it won in 2009.

“The BJP is emerging as the single biggest party with 137 seats, a jump of 21 from its total in 2009 with the Congress finishing second at 116.”

The survey said Andhra Pradesh with its swing state status is set to desert the Congress for rebel leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, with his YSR Congress as well as the Telangana Rashtra Samithi making gains.

“In Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi’s charm has faded in the intervening four years as the Congress is likely be reduced to 7 from 21. The biggest gainer is the ruling Samajwadi Party with 29 seats.”

In Maharashtra, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance might increase its tally at the expense of the Congress and the National Congress Party, while the AIADMK looks set to sweep the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu and the Trinamool Congress improve its tally in West Bengal by winning 23 seats.

The Congress would also lose seats in Rajasthan to the BJP, while the latter would do better in Madhya Pradesh, where it is ruling.

The ABP News-Nilesen released its survey Monday, which said the UPA was set for defeat if elections were held immediately, contending that the ruling coalition would only get 136 seats compared to 206 of the NDA.