Asianet News Mood of Voters Survey: Look who gets people's mandate in Uttar Pradesh 2022
Asianet News Network, in collaboration with Jan Ki Baat, has conducted the first-ever survey across six regions of Uttar Pradesh -- Kanpur Bundelkhand, Awadh, West, Brij, Kashi and Gorakhpur -- to get the pulse of the electorate seven months ahead of elections in the state.
The assembly election in Uttar Pradesh, which is due to be held in February-March 2022, is already being billed as the biggest showdown of the year.
Will incumbent Yogi Adityanath swing the mandate in Bharatiya Janata Party's favour once again?
Will Akhilesh Yadav 'cycle' ride to power in the most populous state in India?
Will Mayawati's social engineering formula get her back to the chief minister's chair that she vacated in 2012?
Will the economic impact of the pandemic have a bearing on the election outcome?
Will caste equations or development be a factor that decides who settles down at 5, Kalidas Marg in Lucknow?
What would be the issues that would dominate 'battleground Uttar Pradesh'?
To find answers to these questions and more, Asianet News conducted a detailed survey in Uttar Pradesh between July 27 and August 2, 2021.
The survey, carried out by Jan Ki Baat across six regions of the state -- Kanpur Bundelkhand, Awadh, West, Brij, Kashi and Gorakhpur -- gets the pulse of the electorate seven months ahead of the hustings.
Obviously, in politics, ground realities, alliances and equations change in the run-up to the elections. But here is where things stand today.
The Asianet News survey reveals that Ram Mandir is not yet an issue of real significance among the voters. However, there were indications that the tempo is slowly building up and could peak closer to elections.
A region-wise breakup reveals that Ram Mandir is an important issue in the Kanpur Bundelkhand region, where 50 per cent of those surveyed said it would be a major talking point in the 2022 elections, followed by Brij (30 per cent).
Significantly, over 60% of the voters in Gorakh, which also comprises Ayodhya, do not think Ram Mandir is an important issue in this election.
When asked on what basis would they decide on whom to vote, 42 per cent of people said they would vote based on who the candidate is, while 38 per cent of the respondents said their vote would be on party lines. Only 11 per cent of people said that they would vote on caste lines, and 9 per cent said the region would be a crucial factor in deciding their vote.
The Covid-19 pandemic is bound to have an impact on the voting pattern. The Asianet News survey found that 61 per cent of people in the state were impacted by inflation, while 30 per cent of respondents felt that handling of the pandemic impacted their lives in some way. Nine per cent of the respondents felt the law and order situation impacted them.
People's opinion with regard to the Yogi Adityanath government's handling of the Covid crisis remained divided.
While 45 per cent of the people were happy with the steps taken by the state government, another 45 per cent termed it as average or poor.
The other pitfalls for the Yogi Adityanath government included inflation (45%), corruption (25%), roads (20%) and power supply (10%)
With regards to corruption, the Yogi Adityanath government can take solace from the survey finding that people termed his predecessor, Akhilesh Yadav's government was way more corrupt than the present dispensation.
A total of 48 per cent of the people surveyed said that corruption was rampant when Akhilesh Yadav was on the chief minister's chair compared to Yogi's tenure (28 per cent). The survey noted that the least corrupt of the last three chief ministers was Mayawati (24 per cent), who has served four separate terms.
However, 70 per cent of people in the state seem to be happy with the Yogi Adityanath government's handling of law and order. Another 20 per cent felt that the government had done well to provide ration amid the pandemic.
Another 60 per cent of the respondents said that the Yogi government handled the law and order situation better than his predecessors Akhilesh Yadav (27%) and Mayawati (13%)
The Asianet News-Jan Ki Baat survey also sought to understand how much of a factor could the farmer's protest be in the 2022 elections.
What emerged was that while only 40 per cent of the people had read or understood the new farm laws, 60 per cent did not know about the Narendra Modi government's new legislation for farmers.
One aspect commonly mentioned election after elections in the country is that of the Modi factor. The Asianet News-Jan Ki Baat survey found that while 33 per cent of the respondents believed that the Modi factor would have less role in determining the outcome of Uttar Pradesh elections in 2022. While 25 per cent said that it would have a major impact, another 24 per cent felt it would have some impact.
Caste equations have played a significant role in determining who governs Uttar Pradesh. The BJP had managed to win a significant amount of the Jat votes in the last election. However, this time around, the situation looks different.
The Asianet News-Jan Ki Baat survey showed a 60 per cent swing in favour of the Samajwadi Party seven months before the elections, followed by 30 per cent for the BJP.
A similar swing in favour of the Samajwadi Party has been witnessed among the Yadavs, 90 per cent of whom said they would back Akhilesh.
And the story remains the same when it comes to Muslim voters.
Where the BJP gains ground is among the Brahmins, 70 per cent of who said they would endorse the party. Only 20 per cent said they would back Samajwadi Party. That margin goes even lower for BSP (10%) and Congress (5%).
The BJP (40%) and the Samajwadi Party (35%) enjoy support from the non-Jatav Scheduled Castes.
As for Mayawati, the Asianet News-Jan Ki Baat survey shows her retaining her stronghold over the Jatav Scheduled Castes with a 35 per cent favourability, followed by the BJP, which received 30 per cent of the support among the grouping.
So, who does the wind favour in Uttar Pradesh 2022? According to the Asianet News-Jan Ki Baat survey, 48 per cent of the people said they would vote for Yogi Adityanath, while 36 per cent said they would back Akhilesh.
To a specific query in this regard, 48 per cent of the voters felt that a government led by Yogi Adityanath would be good for Uttar Pradesh in 2022, while 40 per cent believe that Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party could be forming the government in the state.
The jury is out there. As we mentioned before, in politics, permutations and combinations can change at any time. With seven months to go before the first votes are cast in Uttar Pradesh, the Asianet News-Jan Ki Baat survey clearly highlights which way the wind is blowing for now.