BJP faces neck to neck contest in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh

The BJP faces a neck-and-neck contest in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and a debacle in Rajasthan in the upcoming Assembly elections. This was predicted by the Political Stock Exchange (PSE) survey conducted by India Today.

In what could be a closely-fought election, the BJP reserves a 52 per cent chance to retain power in Madhya Pradesh, the PSE data show. In neighbouring Chhattisgarh, chief minister Raman Singh stands a 55 per cent probability to win a majority again, but his Rajasthan counterpart Vasundhara Raje confronts a sticky wicket in her bid for another term, with only 35 per cent of stakes showing up in her favour, the survey revealed.

The survey showed the Congress would have gained by declaring former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia as its chief ministerial candidate. Scindia enjoys high popularity among young voters. What appears to be going in favour of the BJP is a fractured Opposition in the November 28 state Assembly election, the PSE observed.

The BJP’s fortunes hang precariously to a discomforting lead of two per cent over the opposition. According to the survey findings, 42 per cent of the respondents backed the present Shivraj Singh Chouhan government for another term while 40 per cent sought a change.

In Rajasthan, the Congress seemed to be in a comfortable position for a victory over the Raje government. Party leader Ashok Gehlot is the top choice for the CM post. What goes against the BJP in the state is a wave of anger among the low-caste and Muslim communities, the survey showed. The saffron party is also losing ground in its traditional strongholds in urban pockets. For both the BJP and the Congress, the likely voter share gap appears to be between three and five per cent.

In Chhattisgarh, the alliance between Ajit Jogi’s Janta Congress Chhattisgarh and the BSP seems to be helping the BJP in the state elections, the survey indicated. The tie-up is likely to bag seven per cent vote.

With Opposition votes getting split, the vote-share gap among the major political parties remain narrow.CM Raman Singh’s smartphone distribution scheme is paying dividends to his party, but not in the Naxal-hit Bastar region, where the BJP remains unpopular, the poll showed. Overall, the chief minister tops the popularity chart even after three terms in office. State Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel and Jogi trail the CM.

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