NDA may fall 15 seats short of majority, says survey

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New Delhi: The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance at the Center may fall nearly 15 seats short of the magic mark of 272 in the 543-seat Lok Sabha, if elections are held now, says the India TV-CNX opinion poll.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling coalition will emerge as the largest group in a parliamentary election expected in the next few months but will fall short of a majority required to rule, a new nationwide survey showed on January 24.
Modi, who swept to power in 2014 with the biggest majority seen in India in decades, is facing public discontent over a lack of jobs and a weak farm economy. No date has yet been announced for the election, which must be held by May.
ABP said 22,309 voters were surveyed across all 543 seats of the lower house of parliament over December-January. Opinion polls have a mixed record in the country where millions of people vote.
The survey said that key to government formation could lie in the hands of ‘others’ who may get 140 seats in a House of 543.
‘Others’ include Samajwadi Party, BSP, AIADMK, Trinamool Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Biju Janata Dal, YSR Congress Party, Left Front, PDP of Mehbooba Mufti, AIUDF of Badruddin Ajmal, AIMIM of Asaduddin Owaisi, INLD, Aam Aadmi Party, JVM(P), AMMK of Tamil Nadu and independent MPs.
NDA includes the ruling BJP, Shiv Sena, Akali Dal, JD(U), Mizo National Front, Apna Dal, Sikkim Democratic Front, LJP of Ramvilas Paswan, NPP of Meghalaya, INRC of Puducherry, PMK and NDPP of Nagaland.
“In a nutshell a popular Prime Minister (Modi) is facing stiff challenge from a united opposition,” ABP said summing up the results of its survey.
“Also, his popularity is facing headwinds due to depressed economic sentiment. A combination of the two may lead to domino effects of driving away the fence sitters and rallying the faithful of opposition,” it said.
The ruling BJP will make up some of its losses with victories in the eastern states where its influence has been limited in the past, the poll said. Still it will be 39 seats short of the simple majority required to rule and will have to try to stitch alliances with regional parties.
But some of these small groups are wary of aligning with Modi’s group which is seen to have pursued a “partisan Hindu-first agenda” and raised disquiet among the country’s 160 million Muslims.
The poll showed the main opposition Congress taking 167 seats and the regional parties together 143. The Congress has appointed Priyanka Gandhi, the sister of its president Rahul Gandhi to a party post, a move aimed at further energizing the party ranks who see the Nehru-Gandhi family as vote-getters.

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