NEW DELHI: In what may not be a very encouraging development for the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah-led BJP, the saffron party is likely to face defeat in the upcoming assembly elections in three key states - Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh – according to the latest opinion poll.
The opinion poll conducted by ABP News-CVoter predicts that the Narendra Modi-powered BJP may face defeat in MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan where it has been in power for many years.
The survey predicts that Rahul Gandhi-led Congress will do exceptionally well in these three states in the upcoming assembly elections.
The survey predicts that the Congress is best placed in Rajasthan, where its state president Sachin Pilot is the first choice of the voters for the Chief Minister's post.
The survey claims that the Congress may return to power in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh after a gap of 15 years and is also likely to make an easy comeback in Rajasthan, where there is a strong anti-incumbency factor against Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government.
The survey claims that there will be a very small difference between the projected vote shares of the two main parties and a minor swing in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh can turn the tide in the favour of either of the two.
Interestingly, the ruling BJP had on Saturday expressed confidence that it would register a "record victory" in the upcoming state assembly elections and retain power in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
Senior BJP leader and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said the saffron party would secure a record victory on the basis of its hard work and development measures, besides the performance of its governments in the three states.
The survey claims that if the assembly polls are held now, the Congress is likely to win 142 seats in Rajasthan against the BJP's 56.
A young Sachin Pilot is way ahead of Raje as the popular choice for the Chief Minister's post with 36 percent voters preferring him, while the latter is the first choice for 27 percent.
State's former chief minister and Congress leader Ashok Gehlot enjoys the backing of 24 percent voters for the top post.
In the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly, Congress is likely to win nearly 122 seats and 47 in the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly.
The BJP has been projected to bag 108 and 40 seats in these two states respectively.
However, in these two states, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his Chhattisgarh counterpart Raman Singh are the first choice of the voters for the hot seat, despite anti-incumbency sentiments against their governments.
The Congress and the BJP have been predicted to bag 42.2 and 41.5 percent votes in Madhya Pradesh and 38.9 and 38.2 percent votes in Chhattisgarh respectively.
There is, however, a huge gap in the projected vote share of the Congress and the BJP in Rajasthan, with the opposition party being backed by 49.9 per cent voters against the 34.3 per cent share for the ruling dispensation.
The BJP had secured power in all the three states in 2013 by winning 165, 142 and 49 seats in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh respectively as against the 58, 21 and 39 seats of the Congress.
The Election Commission (EC) on Saturday announced that the assembly polls in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana will be held between November 12 and December 7.
While Chhattisgarh will go to the polls in two phases on November 12 and 20, the elections in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram will be held on November 28.
Polling in Rajasthan and Telangana will be held on December 7.
Counting of votes will be taken up in all the five states on December 11.