South First-Peoples Pulse Lok Sabha Tracker Poll puts Congress ahead in Telangana

Despite the Ram temple euphoria, the BJP is unlikely to better its 2019 tally of four seats. The BRS can look to bag three to five seats.

BySouth First Desk

Published Feb 20, 2024 | 8:00 AMUpdatedFeb 21, 2024 | 9:20 AM

File photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao, and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge. (Supplied)

The first South First-Peoples Pulse Tracker Poll for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in Telangana gives eight to 10 of the 17 parliamentary seats to the Congress, which came to power in the state after last year’s Assembly elections.

Despite the euphoria over the Ram temple, the BJP is unlikely to better its 2019 performance of four seats. The projection is two to four seats in 2024.

The BRS has a marginally better projection at three to five seats. That is no reason for elation for the party, considering that it had nine members in the 2019 Lok Sabha.

Having lost the Assembly polls, it has its task cut out — not to slip further.

The poll was conducted between 11 February and 17 February by Peoples Pulse, a poll-research organisation, and South First with a total sample size of 4,600.

If we are to juxtapose the performance of the three parties with that in the Assembly elections, the Congress secured majority in nine Lok Sabha segments and the BRS in six.

The BJP won eight seats and stood second in 19 seats — a majority of them in Hyderabad.

Go with BJP or not: BRS’ Lok Sabha conundrum in Telangana

Vote share forecast

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The Congress is expected to retain its vote share in the Assembly election.

It secured 39.4 percent of votes in the elections. The prediction for the parliamentary elections is 40 percent.

On the other hand, the BJP may register an increased vote share, from 13.9 percent in the Assembly polls to 23 percent in the Lok Sabha elections.

The increase may largely be on account of the factor of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections.

The BRS, which lost the Assembly poll, is expected to suffer a six-percentage-point drop in vote share, from 37.4 percent to 31 percent.

Also Read: KCR predicts a coalition government after 2024 Lok Sabha polls

Congress ahead on voting parameters

The tracker poll predicts the Congress will maintain a lead over its rivals on all poll parameters — age groups, communities, gender, and areas.

There appears to be a shift of Muslims from the BRS to the Congress for the Lok Sabha elections, with 52 percent preferring the grand old party.

The BRS share of Muslim votes is seen dropping to 38 percent.

Gender-wise too, the Congress is ahead, though it has better traction among women (42 percent) compared to men (37 percent).

The acceptance for the Congress is higher in rural areas (42 percent) as against 37 percent in urban centres.

Also of interest is that the BJP has the lead over the BRS in the 18-25 age group and among OBCs and Reddys.

Also Read: Shaking off the winter chills, BRS is warming up to Lok Sabha polls 

Feel-good and ‘bad’ factors

The Congress has been in power in Telangana for under three months, and that is probably why it may still enjoy the feel-good factor.

Around 34 percent of the respondents rated its governance as good, while 33 percent felt it’s “okay.” People have not started complaining… yet.

However, that is no reason for complacency for any of the three parties, because 40 percent of those surveyed rated the performance of sitting MPs as “bad”.

The Assembly election results have some tangential bearing on this.

For instance, all the three sitting MPs of the Congress contested the Assembly polls and won.

On the other hand, three of the four sitting BJP MPs lost. One BRS MP out of nine who contested the polls, also won.

Also Read: BJP tweaks Telangana apparatus to prepare for Lok Sabha polls

BJP and Brand Modi

The tracker poll survey said that in Telangana, the BJP’s presence was significant only in Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, and Hyderabad-Ranga Reddy.

However, the BRS is also strong here, leading to a triangular contest.

In the Scheduled Caste (SC) reserved constituencies of Nagarkurnool, Warangal and Peddapalli, the BJP is getting only a single-digit vote share. Similar is the case in Scheduled Tribe (ST)-reserved Mahabubabad.

However, Narendra Modi continues to be the first choice for the post of prime minister.

Modi got the backing of 34 percent of the survey participants, compared to 23 percent for Rahul Gandhi.

Noticeably, the gap between Modi and Rahul was not as wide as it was elsewhere, especially in the North.

Also Read: ‘BRS will disintegrate and disappear after Lok Sabha polls’

Issues and performances

The tracker poll threw up another opinion in terms of major issues the surveyed participants faced.

In descending order, the problematic issues are price rise, unemployment, minimum support price (MSP) of crops, housing, and health.

Only 22 percent of those surveyed said the performance of the Modi government in the last decade had been “good”, while 28 percent found it “okay”.

When it came to giving the government another chance, 30 percent said “yes”, with 28 percent answering “maybe”.

Around 39 percent of respondents rated the Central government’s performance as “bad”, with 11 percent being indecisive (“can’t say”).

About the government getting another chance, 30 percent were against it (“no”), while 9 percent replied with “can’t say”.

If the impact of the inauguration of the Ram temple was any indication, 22 percent were “very much” impacted while 33 percent said the impact was “not at all”.

Also Read: Mallikarjun Kharge warns Telangana CM Revanth Reddy against BJP’s designs

Methodology of the poll

The tracker poll was commissioned by South First and was conducted from 11 February to 17 February by People’s Pulse.

The tracker poll survey report was compiled by G Murali Krishna, a senior researcher at People’s Pulse.

The research organisation conducted the tracker poll in all 17 Parliament segments in Telangana.

From each Parliament segment, 3 Assembly segments are selected on the basis of the probability proportional to size (PPS) sampling methodology.

The tracker poll was conducted in 51 Assembly segments. Five polling stations were selected from each Assembly segment using the systematic random sampling.

Around 15-20 randomly selected samples were collected from each polling station.

A total of 4,600 samples were chosen such that they reflected the situation on the ground in terms of caste, religion, and age. Gender was given equal representation.

The survey consisted of a structured questionnaire, with face-to-face interviews.