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64% in UP, 54% in Delhi want Modi as PM

According to a snap poll conducted by The Sunday Guardian-Cicero in five states, Modi maintains a comfortable lead over his rivals.

OUR CORRESPONDENT  Lucknow | 15th Mar 2014

haratiya Janata Party's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi continues to maintain a comfortable lead over his rivals according to a snap poll conducted by The Sunday Guardian-Cicero in five states during the week. The states where the poll was held telephonically included Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Delhi and Maharashtra.

In response to who was the most favoured Prime Ministerial face, the Gujarat Chief Minister was the clear winner, with Rahul Gandhi of the Congress being a distant second. In Uttar Pradesh, a significant 64.5% people felt that if Modi was to contest from UP, his presence alone would contribute to diminish the stature of both Mayawati and Mulayam.

However, there was a feeling amongst 42% that he could also create a Hindu-Muslim polarisation in the state. But 47.6% did not subscribe to this view. An overwhelming 73% believed that Modi was doing the right thing by contesting from Uttar Pradesh rather than his home state of Gujarat. There was also a feeling amongst 43% against 40% that BJP veteran Murali Manohar Joshi should not have been asked to vacate his Varanasi seat for Modi. But Modi being in the race from UP did make his party a more attractive option.

In Bihar, 52.1% people believe that it was wrong on the part of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to have parted ways with Modi, while 42.8% thought it was the correct thing to do. An interesting finding of the survey was that 45.6% people thought that by forging an alliance with Ram Vilas Paswan, the BJP had made itself less attractive to voters. Another revelation was that 53.8% disagreed and 42.9% agreed with the statement that Congress' alliance with Lalu Yadav has emerged as an alternative to other parties in Bihar. For the position of Prime Minister, Modi was the clear winner with Rahul second and Nitish Kumar a distant third.

Modi's home state Gujarat proved to be his greatest support base, with over 72% people rooting for him. Over 80% believe that Modi's development has been inclusive and 66.2% were of the view that he need not apologise for the 2002 riots. The suggestion that Rahul Gandhi was defining the race for 2014 as a contest between secularism and communalism was rejected by 64% people. Over 71% people want Modi to contest from Gujarat and 61% thought that Arvind Kejriwal was wrong when he said that Modi had been of benefit only to the rich and capitalists.Image 2nd

In Delhi, the most significant finding was that Arvind Kejriwal was ahead of Rahul Gandhi, but second to Narendra Modi, who polled 54.6% as against 26.9% by Kejriwal. Similarly, 49.6% of people said that they would vote for Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party, indicating that AAP was the party to beat for the BJP. The findings were in the backdrop of over 62.5% people believing that AAP's future prospects had been damaged due to Kejriwal's resignation. Virtually an equal number of people approved or disapproved AAP's style of functioning. An overwhelming 78.3% people agreed with the statement that Congress has as much to explain for the 1984 riots as the BJP has for the 2002 riots.

In Maharashtra, in what could spell trouble for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance, 54.8% people thought that Modi-Raj Thackerey combination was more attractive. Sharad Pawar was favoured for the Prime Minister's position by 9% people, though Modi was the clear winner with 64.5% backing him and Rahul was second with 18.8%. Over 71% were of the view that Rahul's inability to take action on the Adarsh report had undermined his anti-graft image. In Mumbai, Kejriwal's AAP is seen by 38.1% as a party that could be a viable alternative. Corruption continues to be the biggest issue in Maharashtra with 82.4% people thinking so.

The sample size for each state varied between 1,000 and 1,100 people.

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