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Modi sweep forecast

New Delhi, Nov. 24: The ABP News-Nielsen opinion poll shows Narendra Modi is set to return to power yet again in Gujarat and with a bigger margin.

The prediction for the BJP is that it can improve its seat tally from 117 to 124 while the Congress will come down to 51 from 59 in the 2007 Assembly polls.

Though the survey suggests there could be a fall of two per cent votes in the BJP share, the number of seats will go up as the other newer players are garnering those votes. Surprisingly, the BJP is shown to be gaining seats in all regions of the state, including Saurashtra, where the emergence of Keshubhai Patel is 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 the anti-incumbency factor despite being in power for over a decade.

The Congress has this time avoided any personality clash with Modi and focused on issues of public concern, hoping to corner votes of those poor people who have not benefited during the ďpro-industry, pro-richĒ BJP regime.

The survey shows Keshubhai Patelís newly formed outfit Gurajat Parivartan Party will get only three seats. Independent and others get four seats, including two seats to the NCP. The BJP is winning 39 in Saurashtra-Kutch out the total 54 seats while the Congress could get only 11 seats, down three from the previous election. Reports about Patels being angry with Modi in this region are proving to be exaggerated, according to the survey. In central Gujarat, which has 40 seats, the BJP is getting 20 while the Congress could win 18. North Gujarat has 53 seats and the poll shows the BJP winning 39 and the Congress 14.

The BJP is sweeping South Gujarat, winning 26 of the 35 seats there, while the Congress will get only eight.

Modiís leadership is still the BJPís strongest point in the state while the Congress appears to be woefully lacking on this front with none of the leaders coming close to challenging his supremacy. Over 53 per cent of the respondents felt that Modi should shift from Gujarat and move to national politics in 2014. There was no enthusiasm among the people about the movements launched by Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal either.

The opinion poll was conducted across 91 Assembly constituencies. Among the respondents, 16,384 were common voters while 910 opinion leaders were also interviewed. The complete fieldwork was carried out from October 16-29.