Survey Predicts Lotus Bloom in Kerala

By VR Jayaraj - The Pioneer published on February 20, 2016


The BJP may open account in the Kerala Assembly in the election to be held in less than three months, a survey has predicted. The survey result has also suggested that 92-year-old CPI(M) leader VS Achuthanandan, Opposition Leader in the Assembly, is still the most popular political leader in the State and that the Congress-led ruling UDF is unlikely to retain power.
According to the Asianet News TV-C fore survey held between February 1 and 12, the BJP, which has been struggling to open account in the Assembly, may bag five or six seats in the 140-member House. Two of these seats could come from the northern Malabar region, one from Central Kerala and two from the southern districts.
The survey also predicted that the BJP might increase its vote-share in the coming Assembly election to 18 per cent from the 6.03 per cent it had in the 2011 State election. The party’s vote-share in the 2014 Lok Sabha election was 10.3 percent whereas with the allies’ help, it had taken the vote-share to 18 per cent in the civic polls held last November.
However, the State BJP said the survey result was an understatement of the party’s strength. The BJP leadership sees 2016 as the Year of the Lotus in the State. According to State party president Kummanam Rajasekharan, “The BJP’s achievements will go far beyond just opening account. We believe that the BJP will be able to muster the majority required to rule the State.”
The survey predicted that continuance of the UDF’s rule after the polls was unlikely, adding that the Congress-led front’s tally could be limited to 55 to 60 seats in the 140-member Assembly whereas the CPI(M)-led Opposition LDF might bag 77 to 82 seats. In the 2011 election, the UDF had won 72 seats and the Left 68.
According to the projections, the LDF can get a vote-share of up to 41 per cent while that of the UDF could be confined to 37 percent. No party or candidate outside the two fronts and the BJP would get any seat in the Assembly election though their combined vote-share could reach four percent, the survey said.
Congress and UDF leaders disagreed with the projections. “As per our observations, there is every possibility for the ruling coalition to retain power after the election,” said UDF convener PP Thankachan. Left leaders agreed with most of the findings while both the LDF and UDF disagreed with the prediction on the possibility of the BJP opening account.
The survey, based on the question “What will be the situation if Assembly election is held now (between February 1 and 12)”, also came up with some interesting findings. Seventy-three percent of the 15,778 voters who participated in the exercise wanted 92-year-old Achuthanandan to contest the polls, indicating that he is still the State’s most popular political leader.
To a question whether the voters believed that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was involved in the infamous solar scam, 57 per cent said yes. Only 24 per cent thought Chandy had nothing to with the scam while 19 per cent had no particular opinion. Scam perpetrator Saritha S Nair had accused Chandy of taking Rs1.90-crore bribe from her.
To a question if it would be beneficial to the CPI(M) if Achuthanandan and Politbureau member Pinarayi Vijayan, rivals in the party, contested the election, 38 per cent of the survey respondents said yes while 37 per cent replied in the negative. On Thursday, Achuthanandan said about his chances of contesting: “I will think of it seriously if the party asks me to.”

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