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Sheila Dikshit is Delhi's choice for CM

In the HT-CSDS poll survey, 27% of voters named Dikshit as their choice.

india Updated: Oct 22, 2003 00:25 IST

Checkout for details
The HT-CSDS Delhi Survey 2003 will be the largest and most ambitious survey of the political behaviour, opinions and attitudes of citizens of any city in India
Methodology of the HT-CSDS Delhi poll survey
How MLAs have been graded
Cong set to come back to power in Delhi: HT poll
BJP loses ground, all around

If Delhi’s electorate were to participate in just a ‘Who-should-be-your-chief-minister’ vote, Sheila Dikshit, it seems, would win hands down. In the HT-CSDS election survey, 27 per cent of voters named Dikshit as their choice of chief minister. Only 17 per cent chose her principal rival Madan Lal Khurana.

BJP voters too

The ratings of the two leaders follow the ratings of their parties. Expectedly, Dikshit and Khurana are the chosen ones for Congress and BJP voters respectively. What is surprising is that as many as 12 per cent of BJP voters want Dikshit as CM. By contrast, just about 5 per cent of Congress voters want Khurana as CM.

Women prefer Dikshit. Forty-three per cent of her supporters are women; for Khurana, the figure is 35 per cent. Preferring Khurana to Sahib Singh Verma as chief ministerial candidate seems to have cost the BJP Jat sympathy — more Jats preferred Dikshit to Khurana as CM.

Barring the Punjabi Khatris and the Vaish-Jain business community, Dikshit is the most preferred choice as chief minister among all castes and communities. Rich voters prefer Khurana, the poor Dikshit. Sikh voters seem to be more or less equally divided between the two.

Issue-based support

On most issues like good governance, development of Delhi, sympathy for the poor, and putting a check on corruption, Dikshit is far ahead of Khurana among all sections — young and old, poor and rich, uneducated and educated. Khurana comes close on only one issue: Who will protect the interests of the business community best? Twenty-nine per cent think it’s Dikshit; 28 per cent feel it’s Khurana. Among businesspersons, the big and medium traders favour Khurana, while the petty businessmen want Dikshit.

Dikshit the administrator has impressed Delhi. Voters in all social categories think she has done a better job than Khurana. She is also seen as being better for Delhi’s development. Both the rich and the poor think of her as being more pro-poor than Khurana.

Straight fight

Both Dikshit and Khurana can feel satisfied that Delhi’s voters see them as being the only serious chief ministerial candidate from their respective parties. From the BJP, Sahib Singh and Sushma Swaraj managed about 1 per cent each of the vote. From the Congress, no leader — including Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar — could get even 1 per cent.


Two things need to be kept in mind here.

One, such popularity ratings tend to fluctuate, and are easily influenced by a leader’s ‘official’ status. Dikshit is the sitting chief minister; Khurana is his party’s official nominee. A change in their status can play havoc with their rankings.

Two, respondents named the CM of their choice, but had no menu of options to choose from. This led to a big proportion of ‘Don’t Knows’ — ordinary people can’t name a political leader straight off.

Nearly 40 per cent of people didn’t express an opinion. That’s why the rankings of all leaders appear on the lower side. If only those who expressed an opinion were considered, 46 per cent voted Dikshit; 29 per cent voted Khurana.

Sheila leads amongLead in % points
All voters+17
Young voters+27
Older voters+8
Male voters+13
Female voters+23
Rich voters+9
Very poor voters+70
Educated voters+11
Educated voters+11
But trailsTrail in among % points
Punjabi Khatris-5

First Published: Oct 21, 2003 01:27 IST