Special Correspondent

`Survey has cast serious doubts about its own predictions'

  • Ground realities changing in the State
  • `BJP is gaining ground'

    NEW DELHI: Poll surveys have lost their credibility after their failure to predict the outcome of the 2004 Lok Sabha election or the more recent Assembly polls in Punjab and Uttarakhand, the Bharatiya Janata Party said here on Wednesday.

    It rubbished the poll survey for Uttar Pradesh conducted by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies that predicted a poor third position for the BJP, below the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.

    Party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad criticised the survey that was "so unsure of itself" in that it had predicated its own conclusion with so many ifs and buts.

    The survey predicted the BJP would notch its worst performance ever, getting just 50 to 60 seats along with its allies in an Assembly of 403 as against 88 seats it won five years ago. Mr. Prasad described it as "trash."

    Reading out published passages from the survey, he said the survey had cast serious doubts about its own predictions saying: "Don't take out your calculators right away. For this is not a forecast of what the election result might be on May 11 when the votes are finally counted."

    BJP leaders said the ground realities were changing in the State "every day." The ruling Samajwadi Party was slipping and the BJP was gaining ground.

    They also tried to play down the adverse effects of the rebellion by the Gorakhpur MP Aditya Nath, who has decided to contest some 70 seats independently under the banner of a newly floated outfit. However, privately they admitted that he had influence around Gorakhpur and could win a few seats and inflict damage on the party in some 10 to 15 seats.

    The BJP is pinning its hopes on a division of what it describes as the "anti-BJP vote."

    It is also hoping that the Muslim vote will not consolidate behind the SP and the BSP will not be able to make a sizeable dent on the Brahmin vote. It is depending on an undercurrent of Hindutva sympathy to get back the support base it enjoyed in 1991 when it had emerged victorious in 221 Assembly constituencies.

    This time the BJP has also made it clear that it will not team up with the BSP as it did three times in the past in a post-election alliance to share power with it.

    Some party leaders have pointed out that with Rajnath Singh at the helm of BJP affairs, the pro-Mayawati voices in the party may not be able to get an upper hand as an alliance with the BSP would finish Mr. Singh's own `Thakur' support' base.

    The `Brahmin' may go with the Dalit, as has been seen in the past when both Dalits and Brahmins supported the Congress and recently when Ms. Mayawati has tried to make a similar formula work, but in U.P. the `Thakur' will never go with the Dalit, one party leader pointed out.