Delhi Govt’s Approval Ratings at 57%, AAP Leads BJP: CVoter Survey
48% of the respondents feel that Arvind Kejriwal is still the most suitable Chief Minister candidate for the state.
A CVoter survey conducted in Delhi in the first two weeks of February polls 57 percent of the respondents as giving a thumbs up to the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government, which has been in power in the state for the last four years.
Significantly, 64 percent of the respondents who claimed to have voted for the Congress in the 2015 Assembly elections are pleased with the AAP government’s work, as are 33 percent of those who voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
When polled in February, 46 percent of the respondents felt that the AAP would win if the Delhi elections were held then, with the BJP backed by 34 percent of those surveyed. The Congress polled under 10 percent.
The following are the key insights from the comprehensive CVoter survey on the political mood of Delhi.
- 48 percent of respondents feel that Arvind Kejriwal is still the most suitable chief minister candidate for the state, with Delhi Congress chief and three-time CM Sheila Dikshit polling 18 percent, and the BJP’s Dr Harsh Vardhan at 17 percent.
- Flagship schemes of the Delhi government are viewed positively – for each of the ten schemes which respondents were asked about, there were more favourable than unfavourable responses about the scheme’s effectiveness.
- The power subsidy initiative seems to be the most popular scheme of the Delhi government. 69.3 percent of respondents felt that the Chief Minister Power Subsidy Scheme is effective, while only 17.3 percent of respondents felt it wasn’t. 13.4 percent of those polled hadn’t heard of the scheme or weren’t sure about their response.
- On education too, the AAP government is faring well among voters – with the education loan guarantee scheme (41 percent in favour, 23 percent against) and the education fee waiver scheme (53 percent in favour, 17 percent against) being responded to positively.
Low Awareness About Govt Schemes?
The survey indicates that there is low awareness about some of the AAP government’s schemes, an issue that would be a cause of concern for the party.
For example, 30.3 percent of the respondents said they had never heard of the government initiative to provide doorstep delivery of 40 public services, and 54.5 percent of those polled were unaware of the common mobility card introduced by the Delhi government for travel in buses and the metro. In contrast though, the mohalla clinics initiative was most widely known, with only 5.3 percent of the respondents saying they weren’t aware about it.
Between the Lines
Here are some takeaways from the survey and what these numbers mean for the upcoming general election, and for Delhi’s seven Lok Sabha seats.
First up, an important reminder: The survey way conducted in the first two weeks of February, before the Pulwama attack and the subsequent escalation of India-Pakistan tensions. The Modi government’s actions during the crisis may or may not change voter sentiment significantly, but that is a variable that has not been surveyed yet.
Secondly, this CVoter survey did not ask the respondents for their vote preference in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The survey was limited to measuring popular perception on the Delhi government’s performance and its various schemes. Here’s why this point is important.
- Remember, in the Assembly election in December 2013, the BJP had won 31 seats out of 70, and the AAP in its debut election had won 28, eventually coming to power with outside support.
- In the general election that concluded in May 2014, Delhi had voted decisively in favour of the BJP, with the party winning all seven Lok Sabha seats in the city.
- However, in February 2015, a mere nine months later, Arvind Kejriwal had swept back to power in the Delhi Assembly, winning an incredible 67 seats out 70 seats.
Over these last few elections, Delhi has shown that it is perfectly capable of voting for one party for the Lok Sabha election, and another for the Assembly polls. Therefore, support for Kejriwal as “the most suitable CM candidate” or positive approval ratings for the AAP government’s performance, might not necessarily translate into votes for the AAP in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.
However, the CVoter survey does suggest that a high proportion of voters are pleased with the AAP government’s work in Delhi over the past four years – and given the high numbers of Congress voters echoing that sentiment, it will continue an all-important debate in the capital’s political circles.
If Congress voters are pleased with the AAP government’s performance, it would raise hopes that votes from Congress supporters could be easily transferred to the AAP, and a prospective alliance between the two parties could reap electoral gains. So, will the Congress budge from its “no alliance” position and seek out a pre-poll tie-up again?
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