'NDA all set for a sweep'
A "Mood of the Nation" poll conducted for India Today by ORG-MARG has predicted a sweep for BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in the coming Lok Sabha elections giving the ruling coalition 330 to 340 seats in the 545-member house.
The poll conducted in January before BJP tied up with AIADMK in Tamil Nadu forecast a slide for Congress and its allies who are expected likely to get 105 to 115 seats, 30 less than its tally in the last election. "Others" including the left front, AIADMK, SP and BSP have been projected to get between 95 and 105 seats.
The NDA had secured 304 seats in the 1999 elections.
The poll says the Congress is expected to reach its lowest level, 4 per cent below that of the BJP. Ever Since India Today began the 'Mood of the Nation" poll with the exception of January 2001 (the first survey), the percentage vote of the Congress was always a few points above the BJP.
Under normal circumstances, it said, the votes of the opposition move up on the eve of the polls suggesting an anti-incumbency wave.
On the eve of the coming Lok Sabha elections, the votes of the Congress have sunk below that of the ruling party indicating an incumbency advantage for the NDA.
The opinion poll covered 17,649 voters in 98 parliamentary constituencies. In each constituency the poll sampled three assembly segments based on random sampling. The sample was representative of urban and rural areas, men and women and all age groups. The sampling was done between January 9 and 17.