New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to win a near two-thirds majority of 122 seats in the 182-member Gujarat assembly, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

The LensOnNews survey projected 53 seats for the Congress and just one seat for former chief minister Keshubhai Patel's Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP). In the last election, the BJP had won 117 seats.

Six other states could go to independents and other parties. According to the survey, the BJP is likely to secure 46 percent and the Congress 36 percent of votes, followed by six percent for GPP.

These are findings of a statewide opinion poll conducted by LensOnNews among a representative cross-sectional sample of 12,078 voters between Nov 28 and Dec 8.

According to the survey, the Keshubhai-led GPP has taken away from the BJP a sizeable chunk of the numerically strong Leuva Patel vote in the Sourashtra region.

"Yet, it has neither helped the GPP winning seats (except in Visavadar where Keshubhai Patel is tipped to win) nor has it hurt the BJP in Sourashtra," it said.

The projected tally for the BJP could swell beyond 130 seats if the state records either a high voter turnout of over 65 percent or the women's turnout matches or exceeds that of men, it said.

The survey said Chief Minister Narendra Modi enjoyed a significantly higher popularity among women than men.

"Thus, higher participation of women in Gujarat can act as an antidote to the local level anti-incumbency factor or the caste factor ... on the strength of Modi's personal charisma."

It said the Congress was defensive throughout the campaign and "showed some aggression" in speech only towards the end when Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul  descended on the state.

It pointed out that the BJP had fielded strong candidates against all important Congress leaders, forcing them to stay put in their respective constituencies.

A total of 1,666 candidates are in the fray for 182-member Gujarat Legislative Assembly. While the ruling BJP has fielded candidates on all the 182 Assembly constituencies, the Opposition Congress has given tickets to 181 candidates in alliance with the NCP.

A total of 87 constituencies spread over 15 districts from Saurashtra and south regions of the state will go to polls on December 13. Political fate of 846 candidates including 46 women will be decided on Thursday. In the first phase, the BJP is contesting all 87 seats followed by the Congress (84), the Gujarat Parivartan Party of former Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel (83) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (79). There are 383 independent candidates in the fray.

The second phase will be held on December 17. Counting of votes is slated for December 20.


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