CM Naveen’s popularity declining fast, say surveys

Bhubaneswar: The popularity of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is waning very fast in Odisha if the Political Stock Exchange survey conducted by India Today and the India TV-CNX survey are anything to go by. The surveys also pointed out the decline in the support base of the ruling-BJD.

The Political Stock Exchange survey conducted on September shows that Patnaik was the first choice of 59% people of the State. However, by November this figure has come down to 54%.

Talks are doing rounds that the BJD is worried over the 5% decline in popularity in last two months.

The figures were prepared on basis of feedback from 8,365 samples collected through a telephone survey across 21 parliamentary constituencies.

The India Today survey meanwhile has pointed out the rise in the popularity of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. During the September survey the Union Minister’s support base was 21% whereas it has now increased to 24%.

Similarly, the India TV-CNX survey also does not indicate good results for the ruling party. In 2014, the BJD had got 44.77% votes. But if the election is held now the party will get 44% vote, the survey stated.

On the other hand, BJP’s vote share which was 21.88% during 2014 polls has now increased to 28.53% as per the latest survey. Congress could get 21.67% vote share if polls are held now, it said.

While the Congress has stated that the popularity of both Naveen and Modi has declined, the BJP said it is only Naveen who will suffer setback if polls are held now.

“Popularity of Naveen Patnaik-led government is declining quickly. The BJD government lost its image and the public displease is evident. Besides, popularity of the Central government has also declined drastically,” Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said.

Commenting on the survey report, BJP MLA Pradip Purohit said, “In four and half years, the popularity of the chief minister has diminished and people of the State have got to know the real image of Naveen Patnaik. The public opinion is against the Naveen Patnaik government whereas popularity of BJP is growing.”

However, the BJD has refused to accept the survey reports. Party spokesperson Pratap Deb said “People of the state will not accept the fluctuations in the survey. Asking only a small group of people does not reflect the actual opinion of people of the State.”

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On the other hand, political analysts have said the anti-BJD sentiment is growing in the State after a long period of staying in power.

Senior journalist K. Ravi said, “Be it anti-incumbency or unpopularity of local leaders, undoubtedly, the support base of the ruling party has declined.”

Sources said if the survey reports are to be believed, condition of BJD will be grim in coming days.