Opinion poll shows BJP winning ground in key northern states

NEW DELHI Fri Apr 4, 2014 3:29pm IST

A vendor wears a mask of Narendra Modi, prime ministerial candidate for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Gujarat's chief minister, to attract customers at his stall selling masks of political leaders ahead of general election in Chennai April 3, 2014. REUTERS/Babu

A vendor wears a mask of Narendra Modi, prime ministerial candidate for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Gujarat's chief minister, to attract customers at his stall selling masks of political leaders ahead of general election in Chennai April 3, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Babu

Related Topics

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Opposition leader Narendra Modi's chances of becoming India's next prime minister were bolstered by an opinion poll showing his Hindu nationalist party was set to make strong gains in key northern states in an election that begins on Monday.

Voting in the world's largest democracy is phased over several weeks, and will end on May 12. Results are due to be announced on May 16.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, headed by Modi, has benefitted from a wave of public anger over corruption scandals and a slowing economy under the ruling Congress Party.

Although the polls have repeatedly indicated that the BJP will emerge as the largest single party in the 543-seat lower house of parliament, it is unlikely to win an outright majority, and is seen as most likely to form a coalition government.

The BJP and its allies are forecast to claim 36 percent of the popular vote in Uttar Pradesh, which as India's most populous state offers the largest number of parliamentary seats, according to a poll published by CNN-IBN and Lokniti at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) late on Thursday.

That would give the BJP and its partners between 42 and 50 seats - up slightly from the 41 to 49 seats scored by the BJP in a February survey - and more than half of the 80 seats contested, the poll showed.

The Congress Party and its allies, meanwhile, are forecast to pick up just 16 percent of the popular vote, down 3 percent from February, giving them only a handful of seats as Congress looks on track for its worst-ever electoral performance.

Elsewhere, the BJP and its partners are predicted to perform well in the large states of Rajasthan and Maharashtra, where they may get 55 and 43 percent of the vote respectively and the largest number of seats, according to two CNN-IBN-Lokniti polls.

The CSDS will reveal national results of its polls later on Friday, the last major poll to be published before voting begins.

Elections in India's sprawling democracy are notoriously difficult to predict, and translating vote share into actual seats won is not always reliable.

To collect the data for the polls, Lokniti at the CSDS conducted face to face interviews with 20,957 voters spread across 21 states between March 18 and March 25.

Polls have consistently shown voters favouring Modi, a divisive but charismatic figure, to lead the country. Whereas

Rahul Gandhi, the political heir of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty appointed to lead the Congress campaign, has struggled to gather support among voters.

(Reporting by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Simon Cameron-Moore)

FILED UNDER:
Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Obama In India

Reuters Showcase

Coal Mining

Coal Mining

India to open coal to commercial mining firms soon, minister says  Full Article 

RBI Loan Rules

RBI Loan Rules

RBI relaxes overseas loan recast rules   Full Article 

E-commerce Firms

E-commerce Firms

Amazon, e-commerce rivals fuel commercial property boom in India  Full Article 

Growth Forecasts

Growth Forecasts

Indian economic growth forecasts pegged back, despite rate cuts: Reuters Poll.  Full Article 

Uber is Back

Uber is Back

Uber back in Delhi; govt says must await approval.  Full Article 

Markets at Record

Markets at Record

Sensex rises to record after ECB stimulus programme.  Full Article 

Pharma Sector

Pharma Sector

Ipca Labs hit by FDA ban on plant for standard violations.  Full Article | Related Story 

Forex Reserves

Forex Reserves

India FX reserves at record high as RBI fortifies defences  Full Article 

QE for Euro Zone

QE for Euro Zone

ECB launches 1 trillion euro rescue plan to revive euro economy.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage