New Delhi: A survey by a TV channel and a national newspaper has projected a hung Assembly in Uttar Pradesh, with archrivals Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party running neck-and-neck.

According to the survey conducted by CNN-IBN and Indian Express, the SP was shown in the lead with a projection of 145-155 seats followed closely by the BSP at 140-150.

The BJP is projected to have seats between 50 and 60 while the Congress may have to contend with its 2002 performance with seat projections at 20-30, according to a release issued by the TV channel.

The survey was conducted in 305 locations spread across 79 constituencies between March 19 and 23.

A sample of 11,060 names was drawn randomly from the electoral rolls of which 4,998 respondents were interviewed face-to-face at their residence.

The survey claims that 30 per cent of people wanted Mulayam Singh back as Chief Minister while Mayawati was again close behind with 29 per cent.

Rahul Gandhi of the Congress was favoured by 5.5 per cent of people as the Chief Ministerial candidate, the survey said.

However, the survey showed that the popularity graph of Mr. Gandhi had increased from 1.9 per cent in January 2006 to 5.5 per cent in March 2007.

More In: NEW DELHI | NATIONAL