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Grand Alliance set to win Bihar election: Survey

The "Grand Alliance" of the JD-U, RJD and the Congress is expected to win 137 of the 243 seats in the Bihar assembly, a survey said on Thursday.

New Delhi: The "Grand Alliance" of the JD-U, RJD and the Congress is expected to win 137 of the 243 seats in the Bihar assembly, a CNN IBN/IBN7-Axis survey said late Thursday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA coalition was expected to win 95 seats, garnering a 38 percent vote share. The Grand Alliance was tipped to garner 46 percent vote share, a press statement said.

A party or coalition must get 122 seats to secure a majority in the state assembly.

The NDA’s main constituent, the BJP, was expected to win 82 seats with an error margin of five seats.

Its ally the LJP of Ram Vilas Paswan may get only two seats. Former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM is expected to bag eight seats and the RLSP of Upendra Kushwaha three seats.

The JD-U led by incumbent Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is expected to win 69 seats with an error margin of 5 seats.

Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal may win 48 seats with an error margin of two seats. The Congress was set to win 20 seats, according to the survey, with an error margin of one seat.

The survey, conducted between September 3 and October 4, involved over 24,000 respondents. It covered all the 38 districts and all 243 constituencies of Bihar.

It was conducted in a rural-heavy format, 87 percent going to rural demographics and 13 percent urban.

Fifty percent of the respondents were in the 18-35 age group, 32 percent in the 36-50 age group and the remaining fell in the 50 plus age group.

The caste-wise break-up of the respondents was more or less along their representation in the state’s population.

In a paradox of sorts, 33 percent of the Yadavs and 28 percent of Muslims seemed to be deserting the RJD and JD-U in favour of NDA or others.

At the same time, the Grand Alliance was likely to get more votes from the youth (18-35 age group) than the NDA alliance.

Just over 40 percent feel Nitish Kumar will benefit electorally because of the alliance with Lalu Prasad. Thirty-nine percent disagree.

Development will be the main election issue, with 38 percent respondents saying they will vote on the issue of development. Other issues are inflation and “bijli-paani-sadak”, ranking second with 13 percent each.

As many as 45 percent of the respondents felt that the Nitish government had performed as per expectations, another 17 percent said it exceeded their expectations.

A sizeable chunk of 38 percent said the performance was less than their expectations.

With reference to areas of failure of the Nitish government, 45 percent said there was no control over corruption during his rule.

Nitish Kumar’s development model got a thumbs up from 52 percent of the respondents. In contrast, the development model of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the central government got 48 percent support.