NO GAIN TO CONG, BUT BJP WILL
SHRINK IN SNAP POLLS, SAYS IB REPORTFrom Our Delhi BureauNEW DELHI: In the event of a mid-term Lok Sabha polls in near future, theCongress would not gain seats while its allies would shrink, forcing it to have a truck with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to retain power, says atop secret Intelligence Bureau (IB) report prepared for “PM’s Eyes Only.”The silver lining in the report for the Congress is that the biggest loser will be the Bhartiya Janata Party, its main rival and main oppositionparty in Parliament, as its number in the Lok Sabha is assessed to dropfrom present 131 to any where between 95 and 100.The report has been prepared at the instance of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) which directed the IB to get it a hang of the political moodin the country through its own survey, soon after the monsoon session ofParliament had ended in August.It says the Congress will get 150 to 155 seats as against 150 seats it has in the Lok Sabha as of today while the tally of its two main allies –Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of Lalu Prasad and DMK of M Karunanidhi — willshrink. DMK’s number may drop from the present 16 to anywhere between five and eight while the AIADMK that had drawn blank in the last election mayget 12 to 15 seats. RJD’s strength is expected to fall from 24 to 10-12.Among the losers will be the Samajwadi Party of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav whose number may drop from 38 in the LokSabha to 8 to 10 while Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s BahujanSamaj Party (BSP) may shoot up its strength in the House from 18 to anywhere between 40 and 45, including some seats from outside U.P.The report has assessment of the left and other parties as well but thesame could not be reported as this correspondent had access to only a few pages of the report.A top source in IB said the sample survey was conducted in 28 states withthe help of a 85-point questionnaire drawn up to evaluate how theelectorate would react to various political parties in the event of the polls forced by the left withdrawing support to the UPA Government.The correctness of any such survey or opinion poll depends on the numberof persons interviewed and as such one can not say how far dependable the IB survey is as the figures of persons approached with the questionnaireare not available. A retired IB official said the agency conducts suchsurveys from time to time and the persons interviewed vary from 50,000 to two lakhs, depending upon the subject.