Siddaramaiah is the preferred CM choice in Karnataka

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Siddaramaiah is the preferred CM choice in Karnataka 

New Delhi: Even as the Congress is poised to come back to power on its own after the May 10 Assembly elections in Karnataka, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has emerged as the most popular choice among the likely voters to be the next Chief Minister of the state, according to an exclusive survey conducted by ABP-CVoter among potential electors in the southern state towards the end of March.

As per the survey, 39.1 per cent of the respondents stated that they want senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah as the next Chief Minister of the state.

The incumbent BJP Chief Minister, Basavaraj Bommai, trails considerably behind with 31.1 per cent of the respondents opting for him.

ABP-CVoter interacted with around 25,000 voters across demographics, age groups and identities in Karnataka to gauge the mood of the voters ahead of the Assembly elections.

In what could be a surprise for many political commentators who had written him off and his party JD(S), former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy emerges as the third most popular choice with 21.4 per cent of the respondents stating they want him as the next CM.

Given the projected seat tally of the JD(S) between 25 and 35, Kumaraswamy could play a significant role in the now unlikely event of the actual results delivering a hung Assembly, like in 2018.

Another interesting revelation that emerges from the exclusive survey is that Karnataka Congress chief D.K. Shivkumar is nowhere in the picture when it comes to preferred choice for Chief Minister.

Shivkumar, who is considered to be a strong rival of Siddaramaiah for the CM’s post in the event of a Congress victory, is the preferred choice of just about 3 per cent of the potential voters in Karnataka.

It would be interesting to see whom the Congress high command prefers if the party wins a majority as projected by the ABP-CVoter survey.

As per the survey, Congress will probably win a majority of seats in the 224-seat Karnataka Assembly.

According to an analysis of the survey data, the vote share of Congress could rise from 38 per cent in 2018 to 40.1 per cent this time. Compared to 80 seats in 2018, the survey projects the Congress to win between 115 and 127 seats.

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