Karnataka: Survey Says a Massive Anti-Incumbency Wave Threatens To Overturn BJP’s Boat

More than half of nearly 40,000 persons surveyed by Karnataka outfit Eedina said the Bommai government should not be given another chance. A perception of a corrupt regime dogs the government that came to power after toppling the Congress-JD(S) government with the help of controversial defections.

New Delhi: A pre-poll survey conducted by the Kannada outlet Eedina finds there is a massive anti-incumbency wave in Karnataka against the BJP government led by Basavaraj Bommai, which is fuelled by the belief that it is the most corrupt government in the past decade.

As part of the poll, respondents were asked if they felt the Bommai government should get another chance. While 32% of the overall respondents did not have an opinion or chose not to answer, those who did were overwhelmingly of the opinion that the BJP should not come back to power.

Eedina said among those who answered with ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ to this question, “67% of voters said [the] Basavaraj Bommai government should not be given another chance”.

The southern state will vote on May 10 to elect members to its 224-member assembly. The results will be declared on May 13.

Eedina said that it has surveyed 183 constituencies, with 28 more constituencies to be surveyed. Nearly 40,000 people, chosen from various communities to be representative of the state’s population, were chosen for the survey, it says. In every constituency, people from 16 booths chosen randomly were surveyed, it added. 55% of the respondents were male and 45% were female.

According to the survey, more than a quarter (27%) of BJP supporters also answered in the negative when asked if Bommai should be given another chance to govern. As expected, most Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) [JD(S)] supporters were opposed to the BJP’s re-election: 87% of Congress supporters and 88% of JD(S) supporters held this belief.

Eedina also provided caste and community-wise responses, which showed that upper caste Hindus (Brahmins, Vaisyas, etc) were one of only two communities in favour of the current government. The survey said that 57% of upper castes wanted the BJP to be re-elected. Lingayats were the other community in favour of the BJP, with 53% saying they want the Bommai government to get re-elected.

Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Muslims, Vokkaligas and Kurubas have largely expressed their opinion against the continuation of this government, Eedina said.

Source: eedina.com

Note:This survey does not include details of the interviews conducted in Bengaluru. As the survey is still being conducted in the city, details of the rest of Karnataka are given here.

Bommai image takes hit on corruption, competence

Respondents were also asked which government they thought was the most corrupt since 2013. Though only two elections were held in this period, there have been four chief ministers.

Congress leader Siddaramaiah saw out his five-year term between 2013 and 2018. After the May 2018 elections delivered a hung assembly, H.D. Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal (Secular) became chief minister in a coalition with the Congress. But the coalition was toppled in June 2019 after nearly 20 MLAs from the Congress and JD(S) defected to the BJP and B.S. Yediyurappa became the chief minister. The Lingayat strongman was sidelined by the BJP and incumbent chief minister Basavaraj Bommai was installed in his place in July 2021.

In the Eedina poll, respondents were asked, “According to you, which of the recent governments is the most corrupt?” and could choose from the four cabinets mentioned above. “Among those who answered this question, 36% of voters said the Bommai government is the most corrupt,” Eedina said. Additionally, 14% of the voters said the government led by Yediyurappa was the most corrupt – meaning one in two persons who answered felt governments led by the BJP were the most corrupt.

Meanwhile, 13% said Siddaramaiah’s government was the most corrupt and 8% felt that way about Kumaraswami. The remaining 29% of respondents chose between “all are corrupt” or “no one is corrupt”.

According to Eedina, 20% of the people who said that the Bommai government is the most corrupt were BJP supporters.

The survey also reported that most of the people who answered the question, ‘Who according to you is the most incompetent chief minister in the history of Karnataka?’ chose Bommai as the answer. Respondents were given the choice to express their opinion, and could not choose from preset options, according to Eedina.

“As an indication of the anger against the Basavaraj Bommai government, a large number of people named [him] as the most incompetent chief minister in the history of Karnataka,” the survey says.

Of the total respondents, only 55% chose to answer this question. But among those who did, 45% said Bommai was the “most incompetent” chief minister.

What other pre-poll surveys say

Meanwhile, Deccan Herald reported that five pre-poll voter surveys – conducted by TV9 and C-Voter, Public TV’s Mood of Karnataka, Asianet Survarna News Jan Ki Baat, Vistara News and The South First People’s Pulse – all indicate the possibility of a hung verdict. The findings of these pre-poll surveys  were announced at different points over the past one month, the newspaper said.

Two of them indicate that the Congress has an edge over the BJP. The JD(S) could once again play the role of the kingmaker.

The newspaper said that TV9 and C-Voter’s survey shows that the Congress could win 106-116 seats out of 224, while the BJP would end up 79-89 range. The JD(S) could bag 24-34 seats. In the best case scenario predicted for the Congress, it will sneak past the halfway mark.

Public TV’s Mood of Karnataka said that the Congress could get 98-108 seats, which will put it below simple majority of 113. The could win BJP 85-95 seats and JD(S) 28-33.

Meanwhile, Asianet Survarna News Jan Ki Baat survey said the saffron party could win 98-109 seats, followed by the Congress with 89-97 and JD(S) with 25-29.

Vistara News predicted that both the BJP and Congress will win around 90 seats. The BJP’s range was 88-93 BJP, while Congress’s was 84-90 and JD(S) could bag 23-26 seats, it said. According to Deccan Herald, the survey said the outcome is “difficult to call in 27-30 seats”.

The South First People’s Pulse pre-poll survey said the Congress is predicted to win between 95-105 seats, with the BJP not fat behind with90-100. The JD(S) could win 25-30 seats, it said.

Note: The Wire will report on part 2 of Eedina’s survey tomorrow, April 26.