The northern states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh present a very contrasting picture when it comes to the political battle. While Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are basically a two-horse race with the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) being the rivals, in Uttar Pradesh, which sends the largest number of MPs to the Lok Sabha, it is a four-cornered fight in most of the seats.
According to the CNN-IBN-CSDS-The Hindu Election Tracker survey, the BJP has a lot to cheer as the party is expected to give a tough fight to the Congress in Rajasthan to consolidate its position in Madhya Pradesh. Whereas in Uttar Pradesh, the party is on a comeback trail and is likely to bag the largest number of seats. The Congress, inspite of being in power in Rajasthan, is expected to do badly while in Madhya Pradesh it is being swept away by the BJP tide. Uttar Pradesh presents a very interesting picture with the two regional forces - the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) - not on a strong wicket with the Congress most likely ending fourth as the survey reveals that the grand old party of India is unable to repeat its good show of 2009 elections.
The BJP has been on resurgences in all the three states and a good show by the party is likely to propel it closure to power at the Centre after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
In Rajasthan, 35 per cent prefer the previous government of BJP's Vasundhara Raje over Congress's Ashok Gehlot. The Rajasthan Chief Minister has been unable to take the advantage of the increase in the satisfaction level with his government. The survey shows that 58 per cent of the voters were satisfied with Gehlot in 2011 and in 2013 the satisfaction level has gone up to 65 per cent. The dissatisfaction level has come down to 23 per cent from 26 per cent ion 2011. In terms of votes, the Congress is likely to get 44 per cent down from 47 per cent in 2009, whereas the BJP has increased its vote share by 7 per cent and will get 44 per cent as compared to 37 per cent in 2009. Just like the vote percentage, in terms of seats too it is a dead hit between the two parties with both parties likely to win 10-14 seats each.
In the neighbouring state of Madhya Pradesh, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government has ensured that the BJP continues to not only remain the dominant political force but also consolidates its position. When it comes to the race for the Prime Minister of India, Chouhan is way ahead of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Madhya Pradesh. In Madhya Pradesh, 49 per cent want Chouhan to be the next Prime Minister of India while Modi gets the backing of just 28 per cent voters. The satisfaction level with the Chouhan government has risen to 82 per cent in 2013 from 75 per cent in 2011. The BJP has increased its vote share also by 7 per cent since the 2009 elections. The party will get 50 per cent of the votes if elections are held in June 2013, whereas the Congress has flipped badly and will get only 32 per cent votes against 40 per cent in 2009. The BSP will get only 6 per cent of the votes. The huge difference in the vote share of the BJP and the Congress has ensured that the state remains a saffron citadel. The BJP is likely to win 21-25 seats with the Congress facing a rout with just 2-6 seats.
In the politically most crucial state of India, the present Akhilesh Yadav government has got a lot of negative reviews. Akhilesh, who led the Samajwadi Party to power in Uttar Pradesh in 2012, is not seen as an efficient administrator. On almost all the major governance indicators, the votes of Uttar Pradesh have given him a thumbs down. Akhilesh's father Mulayam Singh Yadav is seen as a better Chief Minister by 53 per cent of the voters. Even among the Samajwadi Party supporters, Mulayam gets 67 per cent votes as compared to 20 per cent votes for his son. After more than a decade, the BJP is coming back strongly in Uttar Pradesh with 28 per cent saying that the party is the best to govern the state. The BSP is seen the best party to govern by 19 per cent, the SP by 16 per cent and the Congress by just 13 per cent. In what can serve as a game changer in the national politics, the BJP has increased its vote share to 27 per cent against the 18 per cent in 2009. The vote share of the ruling SP and the BSP has decreased by 1 per cent and 7 per cent respectively. Another party which might see a downfall is the Congress. The survey shows the vote share of Congress has gone down to 16 per cent from 18 per cent in 2009. In terms of seats too, the BJP is way ahead of the SP, the BSP and the Congress. While the BJP is estimated to win 29-33 seats, the SP might bag 17-21 followed by the BSP which could get 14-18 and the Congress which might grab just 11-15 seats.