The consolidation of AHINDA — the Kannada acronym for minorities, backward classes and Dalits — votes is giving the Congress a slight edge in the upcoming 2023 Assembly elections, according to South First-People’s Pulse tracker poll.
The first opinion poll by People’s Pulse and Cicero for South First has predicted that the Congress would emerge as the single-largest party in the 2023 Karnataka Assembly elections expected in April-May.
AHINDA — a social engineering initiative propelled by Congress leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah — looks to consolidate votes from non-dominant communities like Vokkaligas and Lingayats, seen as traditional vote banks of the JD(S) and the BJP, respectively.
AHINDA, instead, relies on majority votes from Other Backward Communities (OBC), Dalits, sections of STs, and minorities.
The tracker poll was conducted from 22 to 31 December 2022. Two more tracker polls are scheduled in March 2023 and just before the elections.
The report was compiled and prepared by Cicero Founder-Director Dhananjai Joshi.
The first South First-People’s Pulse tracker poll in Karnataka predicted that the Congress could win 101 (+/- 9) seats, making it the single-largest party in the 224-member Assembly.
The 2023 Karnataka opinion poll has predicted 91 (+/-7) seats for the incumbent BJP and 29 (+/-5) seats for the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S).
A total sample of 4,584 respondents spread across 224 locations, spanning 56 Assembly constituencies of Karnataka, was used for the poll.
The sample is representative of the social and political demography of Karnataka with an average Margin of Error on the voting variable of 1.2 (+ / –) percentage points.
Age, caste, gender, and their choices
The BJP remained the top pick for voters under the age of 25, according to the South First-People’s Pulse tracker poll.
Those above the age of 26, however, preferred the Congress over the BJP or the JD(S) in Karnataka.
The margin between the BJP and the Congress for age groups between 26 and 55 is small.
Around 40 percent of male and female respondents chose the Congress, while 38 percent of male and 34 percent of female respondents picked the BJP as their preferred party.
The JD(S) got the approval of 10 percent of the female respondents.
Among non-literate respondents, the Congress remained the favourite with 53 percent support.
The BJP was the preferred party for graduates, with 49 percent of them picking the saffron party.
The BJP remained the top pick for Lingayats, with 60 percent of the respondents from the community picking it in the 2023 Karnataka Assembly election opinion poll.
Around 70 percent of the Muslim respondents picked the Congress, while 19 percent of the Dalit respondents chose the JD(S).
Respondents from Dalit sub-groups like Madiga, Holeya, and Adivasi, picked the Congress over the BJP or the JD(S) in the South First-People’s Pulse 2023 Karnataka opinion poll.
While the BJP remained the favourite among urban voters, with 40 percent of the respondent preferring it, the Congress was picked by 41 percent of the rural respondents.
The tracker poll showed that the Congress and the BJP both got 39 percent preference from respondents with a government job.
While 42 percent of the respondents who have their own businesses chose the BJP over other parties, 46 percent of daily-wager respondents chose the Congress.