These are telling times for the BJP, chief minister Narendra Modi in particular. Modi appears to be gung ho about heading for a third consecutive victory, but if a latest survey by the State Intelligence Bureau (IB) is anything to go by, the fortunes of the BJP and Modi are likely to nosedive in the upcoming assembly elections.
The IB says in its report that the BJP is likely to end up with 90 to 95 seats, lower than the 102 seats the agency had estimated for the ruling party a month ago, and nowhere close to the two-thirds majority that BJP is talking about. The party’s tally in the assembly presently stands at 121.
The IB report says that the saffron party could get around 90 to 95 seats, which means that it would still be able to form the government, but only with a wafer-thin majority.
The Congress, on the other hand, is likely to raise its tally from 55 currently to around 75-80 seats, the IB survey, which includes inputs from various political and non-political sources, says.
Former chief minister Keshubhai Patel could emerge the kingmaker in the elections as the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) is likely to get around 10-12 seats.The NCP and Janata Dal (United) are expected to retain their tally, which stands currently at three and one respectively, according to the survey.
Strong anti-incumbency factor is cited as one of the main reasons for the sharp fall in the BJP’s likely tally in the polls. According to the survey, the GPP will eat into the vote-share of the BJP, particularly in Saurashtra and parts of south Gujarat.
“The GPP could play spoilsport for BJP at many seats,” say sources.
The IB survey says that Congress won 51 seats in 2002 and 59 seats in the 2007 elections in spite of unfavourable conditions and factionalism in the party. The survey says that the Congress leadership seems to be united so far, which has helped in creating a favourable atmosphere for the party.
Another survey carried out by an agency at the behest of a senior BJP leader has also predicted tough going for Modi in upcoming assembly elections.