With the country having moved into poll gear, the key question is whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will win a second term in 2019. The results in five state assemblies have given the Congress-led Opposition high hopes, but an opinion survey shows Modi and the BJP still have the edge.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance at the Centre may inch close to a win, falling just 15 seats short of the magic mark of 272 in the 543-seat Lok Sabha, says the India TV-CNX opinion poll.
According to the survey, conducted between December 15-25 in all 543 parliamentary constituencies, the NDA may get 257 seats and the Congress-led UPA (minus SP and BSP) may get 146 seats, far off the magic mark, if elections are held now.
The survey was done after the results of assembly polls in five states including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh where Congress has formed governments.
A survey conducted by India TV-CNX before the assembly polls had given NDA a clear majority with 281 seats. As per the survey, the UPA would get only 124, and 'Others' 138.
Since then there has been a reduction of 24 seats in NDA and an addition of 22 seats in UPA, says the survey, suggesting that the political situation remained fluid.
'Others' to hold the key
The latest survey said that the key to government formation could lie in the hands of 'others' who may get 140 seats in a House of 543.
'Others' include Samajwadi Party, BSP, AIADMK, Trinamool Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Biju Janata Dal, YSR Congress Party, Left Front, PDP of Mehbooba Mufti, AIUDF of Badruddin Ajmal, AIMIM of Asaduddin Owaisi, INLD, Aam Aadmi Party, JVM(P), AMMK of Tamil Nadu and independent MPs.
NDA includes the ruling BJP, Shiv Sena, Akali Dal, JD(U), Mizo National Front, Apna Dal, Sikkim Democratic Front, LJP of Ramvilas Paswan, NPP of Meghalaya, INRC of Puducherry, PMK and NDPP of Nagaland.
An India TV release said that UPA includes the main opposition Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal, DMK, TDP, Sharad Pawar's NCP, Devegowda's JD(S), Ajit Singh's RLD, National Conference, RSP, JMM, IUML, Kerala Congress (Mani) and RLSP.
The survey says that NDA could get 37.15 per cent votes, UPA 29.92 per cent and `others' 32.93 per cent.
Within the NDA, BJP may win 223 seats, Shiv Sena 8, JD(U) 11, Akali Dal 5, LJP 3, PMK 1, NDPP 1, AINRC 1, NPP 1, SDF 1, Apna Dal 1, and MNF 1.
The survey said that Congress may win 85 seats (almost double that it won in 2014), DMK 21, Lalu Prasad's RJD 10, NCP 9, JMM 4, JD(S) 4, RLD 2, RLSP 1, RSP 1, IUML 2, TDP 4, JK National Conference 2, and Kerala Congress (M) 1.
Among 'others', Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress could get 26 seats, Samajwadi Party 20, Mayawati's BSP 15, YSR Congress 19, Telangana Rashtra Samithi 16, Biju Janata Dal 13, AIADMK 10, AMMK 4, Left Front 8, Aam Aadmi Party 2, AIUDF 2, PDP 1, JVM (P) 1 and AIMIM 1.
CNX gave 54,300 respondents structured questionnaire across 543 parliamentary constituencies, covering 1,086 assembly constituencies, with an average of 100 respondents in each Lok Sabha constituency. Those interviewed included 27,832 males and 26,408 females in the age group 18 to 60 years.
The survey covered both residential and business areas, remote and key localities, including upper middle class colonies. It said that the sample respondents came from all walks of life, including cobblers, tailors, barbers, daily wage labourers, small shopkeepers, mechanics, medical practitioners, auto-taxi drivers and real estate dealers.
(WIth inputs from IANS)