Congress-led UPA government, plagued by corruption and slowing economic growth, is still the public's choice to win a national election, an opinion poll said on Saturday.
Despite mounting popular discontent over a string of graft scandals, 38 percent of Indians would vote for the ruling coalition led by the Congress party, instead of the opposition led by the rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"In the absence of a credible alternative, the unhappy public turns back to the ruling party," explained social scientist Yogendra Yadav of the New Delhi-based Centre for the Study of Developing Societies which conducted the "State of the Nation" poll last month.
The survey, conducted for television networks CNN-IBN and CNBC-TV18, saw more than 20,000 Indians cast their votes in state-level and national-level 'dummy' elections.
The government maintained a 12 percentage point gap over the main opposition, the same lead by which it came to power in the 2009 national elections.
The poll also showed that the Congress party's Rahul Gandhi, scion of the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, is the favourite choice to be the country's next prime minister.
The government has come under fire recently for scandals over last year's overspent Commonwealth Games and the tainted sale of telecom licences, said to have cost the treasury up to $40 billion in lost revenues.