Bihar is angry with Nitish, but voting NDA to power

New Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS) The NDA government in Bihar is cruising comfortably to an almost two-third majority in the Assembly elections even though the electorate is angry with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and more than half want to change the government, as per the IANS C-Voter Bihar opinion poll survey.
This contradiction will define the Bihar mandate for 2020. A chunk of Bihar is angry with Nitish and wants to change the government, but as the opinion poll shows, people will be giving the NDA of JDU, BJP and others two-third majority on the strength of the alliance.
As per the poll, the NDA is projected to get 141-161 seats, UPA comprising RJD, Congress and others 64-84 seats, while others are likely to get 13-23 seats in the Bihar Assembly with a strength of 243 seats.
Despite the anti-incumbency, there is a massive swing in favour of NDA at 10.7 per cent while 8.5 per cent is the swing away from UPA, presumably on the strength of the alliance with the BJP.
In 2015, JDU and BJP had fought separately and JDU was part of a Mahagathbandhan of JDU, RJD, Congress and others. In 2017, Nitish joined hands with the BJP to form the NDA government.
The NDA is projected to gain 93 seats while the UPA is projected to lose 104 seats, so the entire swing from the UPA is going to the NDA. The projected vote share for NDA is 44.8 per cent, a massive lead over the 33.4 per cent vote share for UPA.
The NDA is gaining seats in all the regions of Bihar, namely East Bihar (16), Magadh-Bhojpur (41), Mithilanchal (29), North Bihar (49) and Seemanchal (16).
The sample size of the survey is 25,789 and the period of the survey is September 1 to September 25. The survey covers all 243 Assembly segments and the margin of error is +/- 3 per cent at state level and +/-5 per cent at regional level.
There is heavy duty anti incumbency as 56.7 per cent of the respondents said they are angry with the Nitish Kumar government and want to change it. A total of 29.8 per cent said they are angry but don’t want to change the government while only 13.5 per cent said they are not angry.
On the overall performance of Nitish Kumar, 45.3 per cent called the performance poor, 27.2 per cent said it was average while only 27.6 per cent said the performance has been good.
While there is anger against Nitish, he still remains the most preferred candidate for Chief Minister, again amplifying the contradiction. At 30.9 per cent, Nitish is way ahead of any competitor and the Opposition leader of RJD, Tejaswi Yadav, is almost half in the ratings at 15.4 per cent, followed by Sushil Kumar Modi of the BJP at 9.2 per cent.
While the CM’s approval ratings are not as good, Prime Minister Narendra Modi enjoys high approval ratings. As many as 48.8 per cent said that Modi’s performance had been good, 21.9 per cent said it was average while only 29.2 per cent said it was poor.
As per the survey, the most important issue for Bihar is unemployment and the return of migrant workers at 25.1 per cent followed by control of corruption in government works at 19.3 per cent, and status of electricity, water and roads at 13.3 per cent.
On these burning issues also, the performance of the Bihar government is not very positive in the eyes of the electorate. A total of 49.2 per cent said the JDU-BJP government has performed poorly on these issues, 25.6 per cent said it was average while 25.2 per cent said it was good.

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