Will Nitish Kumar’s 5th Switch Pay Off? What Bihar Survey On Polls Says

Nitish Kumar quit the Opposition alliance Sunday and returned to NDA

New Delhi:

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s latest volte-face may have exposed him to a fresh wave of criticism over his string of flip-flops, but has improved the BJP’s prospects months before the Lok Sabha polls, an NDTV Prashnam survey has found.

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The survey, conducted on a sample size of nearly 4,000 people, suggests that the Bihar reversal is likely to translate into an advantage for the BJP in the general election. About 53 per cent of the people participating in the survey said they would vote for the BJP-JDU alliance in the upcoming polls. About 23 per cent said they would back the RJD-Congress bloc. The remaining were divided between supporters of other parties and those who were still undecided.

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Asked what would have been their choice if the Mahagathbandhan of JDU, RJD and Congress was still intact, 35 per cent of those in the survey said they would have backed the Opposition bloc. This was matched by those who said they would back the NDA anyway.

This suggests that Mr Kumar’s flip-flop may have turned the poll fight from a neck and neck contest to the NDA’s advantage.

About 73 per cent of NDA voters said they would back the BJP-JDU alliance after the Bihar reversal, indicating that BJP voters have largely accepted Mr Kumar’s return to the NDA fold.

Not just the Lok Sabha polls, Mr Kumar’s switch may bring dividends to the BJP in the Assembly polls next year too, the survey found. 

About 54 per cent of those part of the survey said they would back the BJP0-JDU alliance in the state polls. Twenty-seven per cent opted for the RJD-Congress team.

In contrast, 41 per cent said that they would have voted for the Mahagathbandhan in 2025 if it remained intact. About 38 per cent said they would side with NDA anyway.

The survey also tried to decode if Mr Kumar, who has gone from being a ‘sushashan babu’ to being the flagbearer of flip-flops, still enjoys popular support.

About 36 per cent of the Opposition alliance voters said they would back the nine-time Chief Minister anyway in the Lok Sabha polls. For the assembly polls, this went up to 46 per cent. Seventy per cent of those in the survey said they would support the BJP-JDU alliance in 2025 now that Mr Kumar had switched over.

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