With exactly a month left for Karnataka Assembly elections, an India Today-Karvy opinion poll has revealed that 38% of the respondents have rated incumbent CM Siddaramaiah as good. Of the total respondents, 29% have also rated his performance as poor.
Getting into the details of findings of the poll, 28% have rated Siddramaiah's performance as good while 10% have rated him as very good. Respondents have indicated that Lingayat issue is major one that would influence the elections. Lingayats constitute 17% of Karnataka's population. 52% have said that Lingayat issue is major issue, while 20% have said that it is not a major issue.
Karnataka is a state where the anti-incumbency has played a major role in the past. Voters of the state have not given any government a second chance in a long time. The Congress has been claiming that there is no anti-incumbency and that people of Karnataka are firmly behind Siddaramaiah.
Siddaramaiah has also made some astute political moves in the last two months. In February, he sent a proposal to the Centre for a separate Karnataka flag 'Nada Dhwaja', a move aimed at portraying his government as pro-Kannada. The move was welcomed by several Kannada groups.
Siddaramaiah cabinet recently approved separate religion status to the Lingayat community, a move aimed at splitting the BJP's traditional vote base. BJP's chief ministerial candidate Yeddyurappa is a strong Lingayat leader and when had quit the BJP in 2013, the saffron party had fared badly in the elections. The proposal for separate religion Lingayats is now in the Centre's court.
Earlier polls have suggested that would sail through comfortably with the votes of the Dalits, backward classes and Muslims. If Siddaramaiah's calculations on the Muslim votes goes entirely right, he is then in with a chance.