Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
(File Photo)

A recent opinion poll in the context of the 2020 Bihar Elections, conducted by television network India Today, has thrown up some interesting projections ahead of the legislative assembly polls in the state.

The poll projections carried out by the Lokniti Programme for Comparative Democracy (Lokniti-CSDS), a programme by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), has estimated that the satisfaction in the state with the Nitish Kumar-led government has fallen by as much as 28%.

The Lokniti-CSDS opinion poll puts the seat-sharing 'big number' as follows:

NDA: 133-143,

RJD-Cong-Left: 88-98,

LJP: 2-6

Others: 6-10

The projected seat-sharing numbers come more or less closer to the opinion poll conducted by the ABP-Cvoter polling agency on September 25, which had put the numbers as follows: NDA (141-161), UPA (64-84), and Others (13-23).

An earlier pre-poll survey conducted by the Times Now-Cvoter polling agency projected seat share as follows: NDA (160), UPA (76), and Others (7).

Anti-incumbency factor

The Lokniti-CSDS pre-poll survey gauges the anti-incumbency factor against the Nitish government in Bihar has risen from 42% to 43% in the last five years. On the other hand, the support for Nitish government has prudently gone from 60% in 2010, to 52% in 2015 and finally to 38% in 2020.

The voting intention between October 10 and 17 is spread out as such:

Poll issues

According to the network, the top five poll issues in Bihar this time around are (in descending order) — Development, unemployment issues, inflation in the economy, poverty, and finally, education.

CM favourites

Coming to the favourites among the potential chief ministerial candidates, it seems like Nitish Kumar remains the the top contender despite the mounting anti-incumbency factor. 31% of the pre-poll survey voters chose Nitish as the next chief minister of Bihar, while 27% voters opted for Tejashwi Yadav, the foremost challenger to the incumbent CM.

The Lok Janashakti Party (LJP)'s Chirag Paswan still seems to be in a single-digit figure as only 5% of the voters opted for him as the next CM candidate. Meanwhile, Lalu Prasad and incumbent deputy chief minister Sushil Modi each garnered 3% and 4% of the support, respectively.

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The BJP is contesting on 121 of the total 243 seats in Bihar and ally JD(U) on 122 seats, consisting the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) political group.

On the other hand, the main opposition political group, the Mahagathbandan (Grand Alliance), comprising primarily the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) members RJD and Congress along with left-wing parties is also gearing up for the elections. The RJD is contesting on 144 seats, Congress 70 and the Left parties 29.

Elections for the 243-member Bihar Assembly will be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7 and the counting of votes will take place on November 10.

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