Survey projects majority for Cong. in Delhi, Rajasthan

NEW DELHI NOV.13. A survey today claimed that the ruling Congress would romp home in Delhi and Rajasthan, keep itself afloat in Chhattisgarh and lose majority in Madhya Pradesh in the coming December 1 Assembly elections. The survey, conducted by the Centre for Media Studies thrice between April and October, predicted that in Madhya Pradesh, the BJP would win 112 seats in a House of 230 and the Congress 98. It projected 20 seats for other parties. Interestingly, the percentage of vote share between the BJP and the Congress is narrow with the BJP getting 41 per cent and the Congress 39.9 per cent.

The April survey projected the BJP getting 115 seats (vote share 41.6 per cent), which shot up to 120 seats (vote share 43.1per cent) during July, and then slid to 113 seats (vote share 41.1) in September.

The Congress, which won 126 seats in the 1998 Assembly polls, was projected as getting 100 seats in the April survey with a vote share of 39.8 per cent. It fell further to 95 seats in July (vote share 38.9) and rose marginally to 97 seats (vote share 39.6) in the September survey. The vote share of others fluctuated within a band of 18 per cent to 19.3 per cent).

In the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly, the October survey projects the Congress getting 45 seats (vote share 42 per cent), a slide from 51 seats projection both during the April and August surveys with the vote share being 45 per cent and 44 per cent.

The April projection showed the BJP bagging 31 seats (vote share 33 per cent), which shot up to 35 seats in October, with a three per cent increase in vote share.

The Nationalist Congress Party, which is expected to pose a challenge to the Congress, has been given 8 seats (vote share 7 per cent), a rise of three seats from the April projection. For the 200-strong Rajasthan Assembly, the Congress gets a clear majority. The projection, which stood at 105 seats (vote share 42.4 per cent) during April, dipped further during July and then rose to 114 seats (vote share 43.8 per cent) in October.

The BJP lost ground from 90 seats (vote share 41.4 per cent) to 82 seats (40.1 per cent), between the April and October surveys. The best projection for the Congress is for the 70-member Delhi assembly, which improved the projection between April and October. If the Congress was shown to get 44 seats (vote share 44 per cent) in April, it went up by three seats (vote share remaining constant) in the August survey and ended with 49 seats (vote share 48 per cent) in the October, survey. The BJP graph went down, from a high of 24 seats (vote share 39 per cent) to 19 seats (vote share 36 per cent) during the October survey.

The CMS survey said the projections were on the basis of the campaign and despite the "twists and turns" in it by both the Congress and the BJP, no dramatic shift in voter intention had come about in any of the four States.

Another survey by the Centre for Media and Cultural Research predicted that the Congress would get a simple majority of 46 seats and the BJP 32 in Chhattisgarh.

The NCP, the Gondwana Ganatantra Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party contribute to the split in the Opposition vote, which goes against the BJP.