One of the major political battles during the reign of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government is set to begin next week. Several pre-poll surveys have predicted that the BJP-led alliance will emerge victorious with a slight margin in seat sharing in the 243-member Assembly.
Majority of the surveys have predicted the BJP-led alliance as the winner in the 2015 Bihar assembly elections. Two pre-poll surveys conducted by India Today Group-Cicero or ITG-Cicero and CNN-IBN-Axis My India have shown the JD(U)-led alliance as the winner.
According to ITG-Cicero, JD(U)'s grand alliance may win 122 and the BJP lagging behind with only 111. Meanwhile, CNN-IBN-Axis poll survey predicts the grand alliance's victory with majority seats – 137, whereas the BJP may be able to grab only 95.
Of the surveys that predicted the NDA as the winner, one (Zee News) predicts majority win for the BJP-led alliance with 147 seats, leaving only 64 seats for the JD(U) alliance.
The other two surveys – ABP-Neilsen and India TV-CVoter – predicts the NDA's victory with slight margin in seat sharing. According to both the surveys, the NDA may defeat the grand alliance by just 3-4 seats.
|Parties –||BJP+ (NDA)||JD(U)+ (Grand Alliance)||Others|
|CNN-IBN-Axis My India||95||38%||137||46%||11||16%|
Shift in seat sharing from last month
According to the India Today Group-Cicero's survey, the opinion poll saw a major shift in seat sharing as September's survey was in favour of the BJP and alliance, but the prediction of victory turned out to be in favour of the grand alliance in October.
In September's survey, the BJP was projected as the winner with 125 seats, while the RJD lagging behind with only 106 seats and others getting 12. But in October, the JD(U) has been projected as the winner with 122 seats.
The fate of the two major political parties contesting the Bihar elections will be decided only on 8 November, when the votes will be counted. A party needs to win at least 122 seats to be entitled to take charge of the state.
The five-phase Bihar assembly elections will start on 12 October with the first phase of voting, followed by other phases on 16 and 28 October, and 1 and 5 November.
The NDA alliance – comprising the BJP, Janshakti Party, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party and the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) – will be fighting against the grand alliance of Nitish Kumar's JD(U), Lalu Prasad Yadav's RJD and the Indian National Congress.
The other parties that are in the fray are the Samajawadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Nationalist Congress Party, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and others. They are projected to win 3-12 seats in the elections.
If the pre-poll survey finding turns out in favour of the BJP, it will be able to gain a foothold in the state that has been ruled either by the Congress, the RJD or the JD(U) for decades. The 2015 Bihar elections will be a major setback for the BJP if the result comes otherwise.
Modi is campaigning for the state assembly elections and holding nearly 20 rallies in various districts.