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August 17, 1999
The Rediff Specials
TDP will get clear majority in AP
The poll scene 1999 in Andhra Pradesh is unique as in no other State. The incumbent TDP has significantly high favourable ratings on a range of different dimensions of electoral perceptions and voter preference. So also, its leader, Chandrababu Naidu. If this upswing continues with the same momentum until the poll dates, the TDP may even end up with a two-thirds majority.
In that scenario, the TDP is likely to cross 198 and the Congress party's count in the assembly is likely to get reduced to 60. Even then, this implies a gain of 35 to 40 seats for the Congress and a loss of 21 seats for the TDP over what they won in 1995 with N T Rama Rao at the helm of affairs.
The TDP continues to be better off in Telengana, while the Congress has made some marginal gains in Circar districts. The TDP has improved its hold in the last two months, rather regained its strength with voters. Having improved its position earlier, the Congress party seems to have lost out in its own negative and individualised campaign.
Happy with the TDP government's performance
Two-thirds (68 pc) of voters are happy with the performance of the TDP government in the state, against 22 per cent who are unhappy. In no other state today is the percentage of those who are happy with the incumbent party so high as in Andhra Pradesh.
Should Naidu be given another chance?
Two-thirds of the voters in Andhra Pradesh think so, against 31 per cent who are against giving Chandrababu Naidu another chance to become chief minister.
28 per cent of the voters think the TDP protects the interests of their respective community in Andhra Pradesh, while 26 per cent think so about the Congress party and 15 per cent think so about the BJP. Some 16 per cent however, think that neither of the parties, in fact, protects their interests.
About 40 per cent of voters of Muslims, Malas and Madigas viewed Congress party as the party which protects their interests against much less than 25 per cent who think so about the TDP. One-third of the voters from OBCs and other SCs think so about the TDP against much less who think so about the Congress party.
But 20 to 24 per cent of Malas and Madigas seems to be disillusioned with all political parties. No wonder both Congress and TDP have been wooing these communities.
Who do you think is the best person to be the next chief minister of Andhra Pradesh?
Some 62 per cent of the AP voters think Chandrababu Naidu is the best person to be the chief minister of the state, and 26 per cent think Dr Rajashekhar Reddy is the best suited. In fact, 18 per cent of those who intend on voting for the Congress think Chandrababu Naidu is the best person to be chief minister. Two-thirds of the BJP's voters also think so about Naidu.
However, six per cent of those who propose to vote for the TDP think Dr Reddy is better.
Who is more trustworthy?
Voters were asked who between Chandrababu Naidu and Dr Rajashekhar Reddy is more trustworthy as two individual leaders. Some 58 per cent of voters trust Chandrababu Naidu against 27 per cent who trust Rajashekhar Reddy. Five per cent of the voters do not trust either of them, while 10 per cent had no view. A much higher per cent of rural voters think Naidu is more credible.
The Janmabhumi programme, the flagship scheme of Chandrababu Naidu was bitterly criticised by PCC leaders in Andhra Pradesh. In fact, the PCC President had called for scrapping of Janmabhumi programme, should the Congress come to power. Over the last two years this programme has gone through 10 rounds and the Election Commission has not come in the way of its 11th round. Voters were asked whether Janmabhumi programme be scrapped or continued.
Some 63 per cent of voters want Janmabhumi continued against 23 per cent who want it to be scrapped. There are no significant rural-urban or male-female differences in this region. In fact, to a separate question, 7 per cent of voters have said that this programme is one of the failures of the TDP government. Interestingly, 36 per cent of the Congress's voters are for Janmabhumi, whereas 10 per cent of the TDP's voters want it to be scrapped. Eighty per cent of the BJP voters want Janmabhumi to continue.
Are ruralites neglected by the TDP?
One of the criticisms against the TDP is that its government has ignored the interests of ruralites. While this survey looked into this criticism and rural respondents were asked a specific and direct question on this, about half of the rural voters do not think their interests were neglected. Some 39 per cent however, feel that their interests were neglected.
Do you think corruption is a major issue in the current election?
To a question whether corruption is a major issue in the current election, 37 per cent think so against 33 per cent who think otherwise. Some 30 per cent has no view. Thus, voters are divided on this issue.
Voters were further asked as to between the TDP and Congress which party is more corrupt. Some 48 per cent of the votes opined the Congress is more corrupt, 18 per cent of voters, on the other hand think the TDP is more corrupt. Some 14 per cent think that both the TDP and Congress are equally corrupt. About 19 per cent has no view.
Which party has positive programmes?
Voters were asked as to who among the TDP, the Congress and BJP has come up with specific positive programmes in the interests of the state. Some 18 per cent of the voters think the Congress has come up with positive programmes against 51 per cent who think so about the TDP.
Transferability of votes
An electoral understanding for seat adjustment between the BJP and TDP does not mean transfer of each other's votes. In fact, 20 per cent of the TDP voters will not vote for a BJP candidate even if a TDP candidate is not there in his/her constituency and vice versa. An equal per cent is not sure whether they will vote or not to the candidate of the other party.
Vote similarly or differently for assembly/Lok Sabha?
Andhra Pradesh is witnessing elections for the Lok Sabha and state assembly simultaneously. Since the TDP is a state specific party, the anxiety is even more as to whether voting pattern for assembly and Lok Sabha is different or the same.
As you know, this time the elections are being held both for assembly and Parliament together. Will you vote for the same party both for the Lok Sabha and state assembly in the next month's election or will you vote differently?
Some 36 per cent of voters tend to vote for the same party both for Lok Sabha and assembly. Whereas 29 per cent said they would vote differently for assembly and Lok Sabha, 15 per cent said they would vote depending on the candidate, not on the basis of the party. Some 11 per cent have not yet decided.
From this analysis it is clear that a much higher percentage of voters will vote for the TDP in the assembly than in the case of the Lok Sabha. In fact, a little over 10 per cent more voters will vote for the TDP for the assembly than in the case of Lok Sabha.
The Congress's vote share is almost the same both for assembly and Lok Sabha.
Whereas in the case of the Lok Sabha, the BJP would get marginally higher per cent votes if there is no seat adjustment with the TDP.
Voting intentions for the assembly
Contrary to the general belief that Muslims have deserted Naidu, a little over one-third of Muslims propose to vote for his TDP. So also in the case of agitating Malas -- 44 per cent of them will vote for the TDP. Also, in the case of the resourceful Kamma and Reddy communities, a little over half will vote for the TDP. Except in the case of Muslims and Madigas and certain SC groups, in no other community has the Congress party more voters than the TDP. A little over 15 per cent of voters of Kamm, Vaishyas, ST and Muslims are still undecided.
About the Survey
The Outlook-CMS Poll in Andhra Pradesh was conducted twice, once between July 24 and 27 and the second one between August 6 and 8. The poll, in all, covered 24 assembly constituencies in the three regions of the state. In all, 2400 carefully selected voters, proportionate to the population, were individually interviewed by experienced CMS researchers. Based on the time tested CMS methodology, the poll enquired into peculiarities of poll undercurrents, caste/community specific aspirations, perceptions and voting intentions. The survey was directed by psephologist Naveen Surapaneni, assisted by Dharmendra Kumar Singh, Vijay Babu, Dr Binod Das and Pankaj Kumar.
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