The Rediff Election Special/Dr N Bhaskara Rao
Performance will help DMK, RJD, TDP
Performance or no performance, perceptions do matter. More so the voters's perceptions on the performance of their state governments. Much more on the eve of polls.
How else would one explain the perception that the Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Tamil Nadu governments are 'good'? As such a view is shared by more than 40 per cent of the voters in these states, the ruling parties's candidates are expected to benefit from this positive image.
The performance of the Gujarat, Haryana, Orissa and West Bengal governments is perceived as 'very bad' or 'bad' by well over one-third of the voters in the respective states. The percentage of those sharing a positive perception is far less.
Going by this, one could expect a certain anti-incumbency factor to be at work in these states.
As for Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, the government's performance is considered 'average'.
According to a study conducted by the New Delhi-based Centre for Media Studies, the perceptions of the state governments's performance are (a rating of 40 and above is good, and 30 and above average):
Andhra Pradesh (41)
Bihar (50 per cent)
Madhya Pradesh (32.30)
Tamil Nadu (44)
Uttar Pradesh (35.29)
West Bengal (45)
The outcome of the Lok Sabha poll would be viewed as a referendum on the state governments's performance.
In fact, the governments's performance is already a key campaign issue in several states, whether it is the four-year-old Congress government in Madhya Pradesh or the three-year-old Telugu Desam Party government in Andhra Pradesh or the 20-month-old Left Democratic Front government in Kerala.
There is no doubt that perceptions on the performance of state governments do provide a backdrop for the outcome of the Lok Sabha election.
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