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Poll predicts Modi return

New Delhi, Nov. 24: An ABP News-Nielsen opinion poll has predicted that Narendra Modi will return to power and with a bigger margin, as all other surveys have so far indicated.

The poll shows the BJP improving its tally from 117 to 124 seats in the 182-member House and the Congress slipping to 51 from 59.

Although the survey suggests a fall of two per cent in the BJP’s vote share, it says the party’s seats will go up because newer players will be garnering those votes.

The BJP is shown to be gaining seats in all the regions of the state, including Saurashtra where the emergence of Keshubhai Patel was being viewed as a serious problem for the ruling party.

The Congress, which is anyway not very enthusiastic about the outcome, will be surprised to find that Modi remains untouched by anti-incumbency despite being in power for over a decade.

The Congress has this time avoided targeting Modi personally and focused on issues of public concern, hoping to win over those poor voters who have not benefited during the rule of what the party describes as a pro-industry, pro-rich government.

The survey suggests that Patel’s newly formed Gurajat Parivartan Party will get only three seats while Independents and others will win four, including two seats for the NCP.

The BJP is predicted to bag 39 of the 54 seats in Saurashtra-Kutch, with the Congress winning only 11, down by three from 2007. Reports about the Patels’ anger at Modi in this region are exaggerated, according to the survey.

The BJP is predicted to win 20 and the Congress 18 of central Gujarat’s 40 seats; and 39 and 14, respectively, of north Gujarat’s 53. The poll says the BJP is likely to sweep south Gujarat, winning 26 of the 35 seats with just 8 going to the Congress.

Modi’s leadership seems to be the BJP’s strongest point while the Congress appears to be lacking on this front, with none of its leaders coming close to challenging his supremacy.

Over 53 per cent of the respondents felt Modi should shift to national politics by 2014. There was little enthusiasm about the movements launched by Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal.

The opinion poll was conducted across 91 Assembly constituencies. The respondents included 16,384 common voters and 910 opinion leaders. The fieldwork was carried out between October 16 and 29.