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Congress best party, Vajpayee best PM: Poll
August 25, 2006 18:32 IST
While BJP came a close second, in perception as a party that could solve national issues and was concerned about the poor, the findings of the India Today-A C Nielson-ORG Marg survey reveal that as many as 35 per cent of those surveyed rate Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's performance as good and 40 per cent rate him as average.
As many as 24 per cent respondents felt that Vajpayee would be the best prime minister for India, followed by 17 per cent voting for Sonia Gandhi and 15 per cent for Manmohan Singh.
Although 56 per cent of the respondents felt that Sonia Gandhi was more powerful compared to 60 per cent in January 2006, 25 per cent of those surveyed think Manmohan Singh is more powerful, the survey, to be published in the coming issue of India Today, said.
A majority of 55 per cent of respondents felt that the United Progressive Alliance government would last its full five-year tenure, a perception that has improved from 35 per cent over the last six months, it said.
As many as 39 per cent respondents felt that they would vote for a Congress coalition, followed by 33.6 per cent for BJP and allies.
The survey said a Congress-led coalition is likely to win 252-261 seats if Lok Sabha elections are held now, a gain of about 20 seats from the opinion poll conducted six months ago.
BJP, on the other hand, has slipped in the minds of voters and may win only 152-161 seats as against 170-180 seats, which it would have won had the elections been held in January 2006, the survey said.
UPA's gain has been almost entirely at the expense of the BJP-led alliance, the magazine noted and said that the party has failed to reorganise and consolidate.
Other parties who are unattached to either of the two alliances, such as All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Left parties in Kerala and West Bengal, are likely to hold on to their seats, it added.
The poll, which sampled 14,351 people across various age groups in 19 states, also measured the mood of the nation on the performance of the UPA government in the past two years.
As many as 30 per cent rates the UPA regime's performance as 'good', while another 42 per cent of respondents said it was 'average'. Only 10 per cent of those polled, termed it 'poor'.
The UPA government also received support on its controversial reservation policy for Other Backward Castes, with a high 36 per cent approving the measure as against only 16 per cent opposing it.