India Today Group-Cicero opinion poll: BJP set to completely rout Congress in Delhi's seven Lok Sabha seats, India Today Group, India today opinion poll prediction, India Today Group-Cicero
India Today Group-Cicero opinion poll: BJP set to completely rout Congress in Delhi's seven Lok Sabha seats.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is poised to reverse sweep the Congress completely out of the reckoning in the coming battle for Delhi's seven Lok Sabha seats.
A new opinion poll conducted by research agency Cicero for the India Today Group says that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could win from five to all Delhi seats. The Congress had taken all seven seats in the 2009 elections, and could now see its tally crash to a solitary seat when votes are counted on May 16.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which surprised everyone with its spectacular performance in the Assembly Elections of December 2013 is projected to bag a maximum of two seats. The Congress and AAP are projected to register a vote-share broadly similar to that in the December 2013 Assembly Elections, the poll says (see accompanying graphic).
A Narendra Modi wave seems to have pushed the BJP vote-share from 33 per cent in December to a projected 41 per cent in March 2014. The Congress voteshare is estimated to crash from an imperial 57 per cent in 2009 to a poor 23 per cent in the forthcoming elections, which means more than half the people who voted for the Grand Old Party in the last election have decided against it this time.
While the BJP has traditionally been strong among the upper castes and the trading community of Delhi, its biggest gains in the Lok Sabha elections are coming from Jats and other backward communities, which show a substantial swing in voting preference towards the BJP.
The mass desertion of Congress voters cuts across caste lines, while AAP is slated to derive strong support from Dalits and Punjabi Khatris. The Congress hold on Muslim voters in the Capital is crumbling. While 68 per cent of Muslims polled in 2009 indicated that they had voted for the Congress, this time the figure is likely to come down to 41 per cent. AAP has emerged as the second choice for Muslims, with 27 per cent saying they would vote for Arvind Kejriwal's party.
The BJP projected to bag a fairly credible 17 per cent of the Muslim vote, which means that the Muslims of the capital are not polarised against Modi. The BJP is in pole position in New Delhi, East Delhi and West Delhi, where Meenakshi Lekhi, Maheish Girri and Parvesh Varma are leading in their seats.
BJP chief ministerial candidate in the Assembly elections Dr Harshvardhan also leads in the high-profile Chandni Chowk constituency, with Congress heavyweight and Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal not too far behind.
The other seat where the Congress is doing well is North East Delhi, where the party's sitting MP Jai Prakash Agarwal is locked in a dead heat with Bhojpuri superstar-turned-BJP politician Manoj Tewari. AAP has a fighting chance in South Delhi, where Colonel Devender Sehrawat is battling Ramesh Bidhuri, and in North West Delhi where former Delhi minister Rakhi Birla is squaring off against the BJP's newly inducted Udit Raj.
The BJP's grip is strongest among those who are above 56 years of age, with 48 per cent of those polled indicating that they would vote for the lotus come April 10. No less than 41 per cent of those in the age group of 26-55 indicated that they would vote for the BJP. But the youth of Delhi seem divided in their voting preference: 38 per cent indicated that they would vote for the BJP, a significant 31 per cent of those below 25 said they would vote for AAP, while 25 per cent were behind the Congress.
The voting preference for the BJP seems highest among upper middle class and high income voters. Among both categories of affluent voters, more than 43 per cent of those polled said they would vote for the BJP. A similar situation prevails among low income and lower middle class voters; it is only in the poorer sections of society that the BJP is not the first choice.