NDA, Grand Alliance neck and neck in Bihar

New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) The BJP-led NDA is projected to win 119 seats, three short of the magic mark of 122 in the Bihar assembly, and the Grand Alliance 116 seats, an India TV-CVoter pre-poll survey said on Thursday.

The Grand Alliance has been forged by the Rshtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Janata Dal-United ((JD-U) and the Congress.

Eight seats in the 243-member assembly may go to 'Others', the survey said.

The NDA, comprising the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), LJP, RLSP and HAM, has been projected to get 43 percent vote share, compared to 41 percent for the Lalu Prasad-Nitish Kumar-Sonia Gandhi alliance, it said.

The first stage of polling will take place in Bihar on October 12.

C-Voter said the projections were based on a methodology based on random stratified sample of 9,916 interviews covering all 243 segments in Bihar from the last week of September till the first week of October.

In 2010, the then BJP-JD-U alliance won 206 seats, while Lalu Prasad's RJD-led alliance with Ram Vilas Paswan could win only 25 seats. In the Lok Sabha election of 2014, the NDA comprising BJP, Paswan's LJP and Upendra Kushwaha's RLSP won in 174 assembly segments.

The Lalu-Nitish combine could win only in 51 assembly segments in the face of a Narendra Modi wave.

Asked which was the biggest issue for the voters, 17.9 percent said unemployment, 12.7 percent said power cuts, while 25 percent respondents said "can't say".

Asked which party can solve these problems better, 44.7 percent opted for NDA while 38.6 percent favoured the RJD-JD-U-Congress alliance. Another 16.6 percent respondents said 'others'.

In the caste-wise social groupings, 44 percent Dalits, 41 percent Mahadalits, 50 percent MBC (most backward castes), 29 percent OBC and a whopping 70 percent upper castes favoured the NDA.

Another 28 percent Dalits, 33 percent Mahadalits, 31 percent MBC, a whopping 59 percent OBC and 15 percent upper caste respondents favoured the Grand Alliance.

A whopping 73.3 percent said there should be a nationwide ban on sale of beef while 25.9 percent opposed it.

According to the pre-poll survey, 73.3 per cent respondents blamed the rhetoric of politicians to be the reason behind heating up the beef issue, while 17.7 percent blamed news channels.

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