Karnataka Congress’ Latest Worry: A Leaked Pre-Poll Survey
Although there have been similar surveys in the past, this survey is alleged to have been sanctioned by the Congress
A leaked pre-poll survey report is the latest headache for the Congress in Karnataka. The survey conducted by a US-based agency, CHS surveys, has claimed that the Congress would lose over 50 percent of its votes and the state would see a hung government.
Since results of the polls were leaked, the Congress party, which has been high on morale ahead of the elections, is frantically reacting to it. The party leaders made several statements that the survey was fake and lodged a complaint with the cyber cell as well.
Interestingly, this was not the first pre-poll survey, and not the first to claim the state would see a hung government. In fact, two Kannada news channels had broadcast results of surveys, which also claimed that the state would see a hung government.
However, a claim that the leaked survey was authorised by Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President G Parameshwara and a report claiming that Siddaramaiah is not the favoured chief ministerial candidate has irked many within the party.
The social media messages, which began doing rounds with details of the report, claimed that the survey was authorised by Parameshwara in December 2017 and that it was a confidential report.
The leaked report gave 77-81 seats to the Congress, 73-76 seats to the BJP and 64-66 seats to the JD(S) in the 224-member Assembly.
Soon after the survey was leaked to the media and spread on social media, Congress’ state president G Parameshwara not only distanced himself and the party from the survey, but also lodged a complaint with the cyber police against the circulation of the details of the survey.
The complaint also named Deepak Avasthi, Managing Director of CHS Surveys, accusing him of misusing the KPCC president's name with an intention to create a rift within the party.
A Congress leader said that the survey report had claimed that Siddaramaiah was not the favoured chief ministerial candidate and that Parameshwara was an aspirant for the post of chief minister. There were also allegations that the survey was a ploy of the KPCC leader.
The leader said that the specific allegation against the MD of the company was made to rescue Parameshwara from further controversy.
Whether the survey was fake or not, it has begun a political blame game in Karnataka, where some leaders are pointing the finger at the JD(S) for survey results, while the JD(S) claims that the survey is a clear indication of the rift within Karnataka Congress.
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