13/10/2016 8:49 AM IST | Updated 13/10/2016 9:43 AM IST

BJP Expected To Win 170-183 Seats In UP, Mayawati CM Of Choice: India Today-Axis Opinion Poll

Things are looking bad for the Congress.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
BSP Supremo Mayawati with her party leaders during the Monsoon Session at Parliament House on July 21, 2016 in New Delhi.

Rahul Gandhi's intensive state-wide rallies notwithstanding, the Congress is likely to emerge badly bruised in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is expected to win 173-180 seats in the 403-member state Assembly.

Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is predicted to end up with 115-124 seats, according to the India Today-Axis Opinion Poll.

The incumbent Samajwadi Party will win 94-103 seats, the poll suggested. However, Gandhi's 25-day Kisan Padyatra, that took him across 2500 km of the heartlands to 14 temples, three mosques, six dargahs, three gurdwaras and one cathedral, seems to have personally struck a chord with the people of the state, with 38 per cent of those surveyed saying the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty is the Congress's "best bet to revive the party in the state".

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi greets supporters as his bus rally enters the city on October 6, 2016 in New Delhi, India.

The Congress is likely to only secure 8-12 seats and 6% of the vote shares. With no single party projected to make the 202 majority mark, the state is headed for a hung verdict.

Mayawati, CM Of Choice

Mayawati supporters had something to cheer about. Thirty-one percent of those surveyed want her to return as chief minister for the fifth time, while 27% wanted Akhilesh Yadav to remain. Just one per cent approved of Sheila Dikshit, Congress' candidate, as the next chief minister.

Only one percent wanted Mulayam Singh Yadav as the CM.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
BJP President Amit Shah attends a conference of intellectuals at JIIT, on June 30, 2016 in Noida, India. With Uttar Pradesh assembly election early next year, BJP Chief brainstormed with intellectuals about the achievements of two years of Modi government and keys issues of UP.

Development, Not Cow Politics

Development trumped religious politics with a whopping 88% opting for the former when asked what the BJP's biggest plank in the run-up to the polls should be. The Ram temple at Ayodhya and cow protection programme just etched up three and one per cent of polls.

Despite the BJP's 'Congress-mukt India' rhetoric, a majority 54 per cent surveyed said they did not agree with the idea of a Congress-free India, the poll stated.