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NDTV Public Opinion: Who Is Most Preferred Chief Minister Of Karnataka

NDTV Public Opinion: Who Is Most Preferred Chief Minister Of Karnataka

Congress’s Siddaramaiah, who was the Chief Minister of Karnataka for a term that ended in 2018, is still the most preferred candidate for the post, NDTV’s new opinion poll in partnership with Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) has found. There, however, is a caveat — only four per cent people said their vote will depend on the Chief Ministerial candidate.  

The survey found that 40 per cent people prefer Siddaramaiah as the Chief Minister — almost double the number, 22 per cent, who want to see Basavaraj Bommai back in the hot seat. 15 per cent people said they support HD Kumaraswamy, who had succeeded Mr Siddaramaiah and was in the post for only for a year.

That is still way ahead of the number of people who support state Congress chief DK Shivakumar — 4 per cent — for the top job.

Mr Siddaramiah, an import to the Congress from HD Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal Secular in 2006, grew in the party with his 2010 march to Bellary to take on the mining barons, the Reddy brothers, who were part of the BJP.

In 2013, the first-generation political leader from a backward caste got the top job and went on to become one of the most successful Chief Ministers of the Congress.

In 2021, then Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had to make way for Mr Bommai after the BJP took note of the corruption charges against him. While the Congress has levelled significant corruption allegations against the Bommai government as well, the BJP has made it clear that he would remain its Chief Ministerial candidate.

The survey also found that 75-year-old Mr Siddaramaiah is more popular among the elderly — 44 per cent of people who are 56 or older preferred him. Among the 18-25 age group, only 40 per cent wanted him as the Chief Minister.

The situation of Mr Bommai, 63, is just the reverse: 28 per cent of the 18-25 age group wanted him back, compared to the 22 per cent people in the elderly group.

The survey, however, found that a majority of voters would vote for a party instead of particular candidates.

56 per cent of the people surveyed said they go by the party, compared to 36 per cent who would take the candidate into account. The percentage of those who would vote in view of the Chief Ministerial candidate is even leaner — just 4 per cent.

The survey also showed that the supporters of the Congress, more than that of the BJP, are backing the party instead of individual candidates.

The BJP supporters are divided – while 49 per cent said they would vote for the party irrespective of who the candidate is, 47 per cent said the candidate will be their priority.

2,143 voters spread across 82 polling stations of 21 assembly constituencies were interviewed for the survey, undertaken to gauge public mood ahead of the May 10 assembly election.

They were picked through “multi-stage systematic random sampling” or the SRS system– meaning the constituencies, polling stations and the people interviewed were all randomly selected.  The sample size, though small, is expected to be a representative section of the state and correctly reflect the voters’ mood.

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