Unpopularity Of Modi, CMs, MPs Could Cost NDA 85 Seats in 3 States
One of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s major headaches in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections is the National Democratic Alliance’s poor prospects in some of the states that send the maximum number of MPs to the Lok Sabha.
Five states – Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Bihar and Tamil Nadu – together account for 249 or over 45 percent of the total number of Lok Sabha seats in the country. In 2014, the BJP and its allies won 187 seats in these states. This includes the AIADMK which remained friendly to the BJP throughout Modi’s tenure and has now become part of the NDA.
According to survey data released by C-Voter, the BJP is facing dissatisfaction at several levels – at the level of the prime minister, chief minister, MPs and MLAs – in three of these states: Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. C-Voter predicts that the NDA’s tally could fall by 85 seats in these three states put together.
In West Bengal, the BJP’s rise is being restricted by the popularity of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Trinamool Congress.
The main saving grace for BJP among the big states is Bihar, where Prime Minister Modi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s popularity is boosting the NDA’s prospects. But even here NDA has limited scope for improvement.
Let’s take a look at these five states.
The NDA victory in 2014 was made possible by its complete sweep in Uttar Pradesh, winning 73 out of 80 seats in the states.
However, five years later, the BJP is facing anti-incumbency at several levels. According to C-Voter data, PM Modi’s net satisfaction level is 43.9 percent. Compared to other states, Uttar Pradesh ranks 16th when it comes to Modi’s popularity.
Having said that, 43.9 percent is still respectable.
MPs and MLAs in Uttar Pradesh, an overwhelming majority of whom are from the BJP, fare even worse, with a net satisfaction rating of 8.2 percent and 11.8 percent respectively.
The other big problem for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh is that it is facing a much more united Opposition compared to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and the 2017 Assembly polls. The Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal have formed a pre-poll alliance in the state.
In addition to this, the Congress’ vote share is also likely to improve with the entry of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as its general secretary in-charge for Eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Given the several levels of dissatisfaction against BJP and the Mahagathbandhan effect, it is likely that the party’s vote share will fall compared to 2014 and 2017.
C-Voter has predicted a tally of 29 seats for the NDA, a fall of 44 seats compared to 2014.
Maharashtra, which accounts for 48 Lok Sabha seats, is nowhere the kind of disaster Uttar Pradesh has become for the NDA. Here PM Modi’s net satisfaction rating is 47.9 percent. Maharashtra is at the 14th position in this respect.
However, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis fares worse at 33.9 percent.
The 48 Members of Parliament from Maharashtra, 41 of whom are from the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena, have a net satisfaction rating of 35.8 percent, the fourth among all the states in the country.
The data from Maharashtra indicates limited losses for the BJP. According to the C-Voter survey earlier this month, the NDA could win 35 seats in Maharashtra, a drop of seven seats from 2014.
Tamil Nadu is perhaps emerging as the biggest disaster for the NDA. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Net Satisfaction Rating is at just 2.2 percent, lowest among all the states in the country.
The BJP also seems to be caught with the wrong ally, with the Net Approval Rating of Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami of the AIADMK at just 7.7 percent, among the lowest in the country.
This is marginally better at the MLA level at 9.9 percent, but even this is the second lowest in the country, behind only Jammu and Kashmir.
According to C-Voter survey, NDA is looking at a decimation in Tamil Nadu – it could be reduced to just five seats compared to 34 of the UPA. In the last Lok Sabha polls, the AIADMK, BJP and PMK had a tally of 39.
In Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu put together, the BJP and its allies (including AIADMK) could lose close to 85 seats compared to 2014.
The other problem is that the gains from the two other big states – West Bengal and Bihar – are limited.
West Bengal represents a different kind of problem for the BJP. Here, Modi’s ratings are decent and the BJP is gaining ground. But the party is facing a formidable adversary in West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her party, the Trinamool Congress.
The net satisfaction with MPs, most of whom are from the TMC, is at 34.3 percent, the eighth highest in the country.
According to the C-Voter survey this month, the BJP’s tally in West Bengal could go up from two seats in 2014 to eight seats, while the TMC could win 34 seats, the same tally as 2014.
But since West Bengal is one of the states that the BJP is looking towards to compensate for its losses in the Hindi heartland, the party wouldn’t be happy with just a gain of just six seats.
However, the BJP’s saving grace among the bigger states is Bihar. Here, Prime Minister Modi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar are both popular. Modi’s net satisfaction is 50.3 percent, while Kumar’s is 55.3. The Janata Dal (United) chief is the sixth most popular chief minister in the country.
In terms of MPs, the net satisfaction rating in Bihar is 23.7 percent, the 14th highest in the country. Three-fourths of the MPs in Bihar are with the NDA.
The MLAs, a majority of whom belong to the NDA, are less popular at 15.4 percent, which is among the lowest ninth country.
However, all in all it seems that the popularity of PM Modi and CM Nitish Kumar would help NDA get an impressive tally in Bihar. But the problem is, since the NDA had won 31 seats in Bihar in 2014, the scope for gains is limited.
According to the C-Voter survey, NDA could win 36 out of 40 seats in Bihar, one of the few states where it is predicted to gain seats compared to 2014.
In the five big states, C-Voter’s survey this month predicts 113 seats for the NDA, a fall of 74 seats from 2014.
As the survey was conducted when the effect of the Pulwama Attack was still fresh, it is likely that the NDA’s popularity could have worsened since then. On the other hand, the Congress could gain with its promise of providing a minimum assured income to India’s poorest, or the NYAY scheme.
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