New Delhi: The BSP, with 169 seats, will emerge as the largest party in a hung Uttar Pradesh assembly after state elections in six months -- followed by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the ruling Samajwadi Party, a survey has found.
The survey found a staggering 43 per cent of those polled gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi only average or pass marks -- 30 to 50 -- and 25 per cent felt he doesn't deserve more than 20, calling into question the BJP's decision to not name a Chief Ministerial candidate and project Modi's achievements instead.
Failure to control prices remains the PM Modi government's achilles heel. Almost one third of UP's electorate say Modi hasn't done enough to control prices. An equal number (33 per cent) says Modi talks more, works less and has therefore not fulfilled his promises.
They also seem to blame him for driving jobless growth as 20 per cent believe there are few employment opportunities, said the survey with a sample size of 25,000, conducted by Parliamentarian, a current affairs monthly.
The BSP's tally will be a huge 89 more than the 80 seats it currently has in the assembly, which has 403 elected members and one that is nominated.
The ruling Samajwadi Party will lose a massive 170 seats to come down to 74 from its current 224 seats, while BJP will see its numbers rise from 47 to 135 but falling well short of a majority, perhaps because it hasn't named a chief ministerial candidate.
This, despite the fact that Varun Gandhi, whom the BJP seems reluctant to project, has emerged as the third-most popular candidate for the top job with 23 per cent of the vote, behind BSP supremo Mayawati (28 per cent) and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav (25 per cent).
The BJP is the only party which hasn't finalised its candidate for the top job so far. The problem is there are too many potential chief ministers, from Varun Gandhi to Yogi Adityanath, also former Chief Minister Kalyan Singh and the state BJP Chief Keshav Prasad Maurya.
"The BJP is still mulling over whether it's politically smart to go with a candidate or without. The party won Haryana and Jharkhand Assembly elections without declaring a candidate and lost Delhi after announcing Kiran Bedi's name as its prospective chief minister. By this logic, the BJP should not make public its face for UP but that strategy floundered in Bihar," the survey said.
The Congress will see its seats dip to 15 from 28 and others to 10 from 28, the survey said.
Akhilesh Yadav may have tried his best to control goondaism in the state, going to the extent of refusing entry to tained politicians like D.P. Yadav and Mukhtar Ansari. Yet it has not been enough as most people say law and order (29 per cent) will be the biggest election issue next year followed by price hike (18 per cent), corruption (16 per cent), development (15 per cent), unemployment (12 per cent) and communalism (7 per cent), the survey said.
The respondents said the state of law and order will make voters think twice before extending again support to the Samajawadi Party.
Mayawati's earlier terms as Chief Minister seems to have impressed the electorate. She has been rated the best Chief Minister the state as ever had at 32 per cent, well ahead of Kalyan Singh (18 per cent) and Akhilesh Yadav (15 per cent).