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Pre-Poll Survey Results Boost Cong Morale

Bharti Sinha  |  BSCAL 

Enthused by various pre-election surveys predicting a clean sweep for the Congress in the Delhi Assembly elections due this November-end, the Congress has decided to have no political alliance with any party in Delhi.

Seat adjustments can be worked out but on the terms of the Congress.

Thus seat adjustment with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is ruled out as the party is insisting on 15 seats, which, according to the Congress, is too high.

Seat adjustment with the Rashtriya Loktantrik Morcha is possible, but only if the Morcha is willing to be content with three seats.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi had engaged the well-known MARG organisation for a pre-poll survey. The survey report predicts that the Congress is set to win 48 to 55 seats out of the 70 Assembly seats, leaving only 15-17 seats for the BJP. This has now led to a fierce competition among Congress workers in Delhi to get a ticket.

A Congress leader yesterday said that Sonia Gandhi had also obtained a copy of a similar survey conducted by the BJP. Even this survey gives 17 out of 70 seats to the BJP predicting a landslide victory for the Congress. Besides the Congress and the BJP surveys, there are two other surveys which confirms the prediction in favour of the Congress.

Both the surveys, conducted by Punjab Kesri and The Hindustan Times, have predicted a poor performance by the BJP, giving the party only 15-20 seats.

According to a party insider, the market rate for a Congress ticket in Delhi has touched Rs 50 lakh per ticket. This is in keeping with the general perception in Delhi that Congress ticket could be bought.

Meanwhile Sonia Gandhi has strictly warned ticket seekers as well as party leaders that anyone found to give or accept party tickets in exchange for money would be severely punished.

Sonia Gandhi has also ruled out awarding party tickets to big industrialists or their relations.

The party, however, is worried whether it will be able to match the organisational skills of the BJP, which is cadre-based. The concentration, therefore, is on selecting the right candidates and then improving the organisational set up to ensure Congress voters caste their votes.

Campaigning will, therefore, be basically to motivate voters to come and vote.~

First Published: Thu, October 01 1998. 00:00 IST