BJP Leads in Informal Survey Conducted in Houston


By Manu Shah

HOUSTON: For the first time perhaps, Indians seem to have lost all patience with the rampant corruption, rising crime and high prices witnessed during the Congress regime and are demanding a party that will deliver and bring some degree of honesty in its functioning.


With Congress ratings taking a nosedive, there are two choices voters appear to have – the newly formed Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).  With its almost defiant win in Delhi, the AAP has taken everyone by surprise but voters still seem wary of giving it national government status.  The contender for the top slot appears to be the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate – Narendra Modi.  While AAP leader – Arvind Kejriwal comes like a breath of fresh air with a squeaky clean image and good intentions, Narendra Modi brings with him a proven track record of good governance and an ability to energize the masses with his sharp sense of humor and oratory skills.

Houston isn’t immune to the election fever hotting up in India. During the ICC Republic Day celebrations at the Stafford Civic Center on February 1, political organizations like the BJP, the AAP and the Overseas Volunteer for a Better India (a movement launched by Sri Sri Ravishankar of the Art of Living) put up booths in a drive to encourage volunteer signup. The Congress party didn’t put up a booth this year as their main party worker George Abraham was in India on that day.  An informal survey was conducted to find out what Houstonians think of the outcome of the coming elections.  The survey was set up at the ICC booth to ensure credibility and conducted by two youngsters.  174 people participated and the results are as follows:

The BJP emerged as the clear choice of a political party (77.0%) with Narendra Modi as the ideal candidate for the post of Prime Minister (85.7%) followed by Rahul Gandhi (6.3%), Arvind Kejriwal (5.7%) and regional leaders (2.3%).

 The three most important issues that people thought would dominate the elections was corruption (28.9%), stability of incoming government (19.4%) and price control and inflation stability (14.3%).  Issues like job creation, GDP growth and others accounted for the remaining percentage.  The AAP did score a victory of sorts coming out marginally ahead of the Congress on the question of supporting a political party with AAP at 10.3% and INC at 7.5%.

 In a further breakdown 73.0% of those surveyed were men while 27.0% were women. 82.0% of the men and 63.0% of the women were in favor of BJP. It was also interesting to see that only 3.1% of the men were in favor of the Congress and 19.6% of the women were for the Congress.  9.4% men supported the AAP while 13.0% of the women were in favor of AAP.  Many women also commented that the safety of women should be a priority of the incoming government.

1.7% of those surveyed were less than 20 years old, 39.7% were in the age group 20-40, 28.7% in 40-60 and 29.9% in the 6o plus category. 73.8% of the men in the age group 20-40, 80.5% in the age group 40-60 and a whopping 90.7% in the 60 plus group supported the BJP.  50.0% of the women in the 20-40 group, 77.8% in the 40-60 group and 90.0% in the 60-80 age group supported the BJP.

13.1% thought the current economic and administrative condition in India ranged from excellent to good while the majority thought it was average (35.8%), poor (25.0%) and very poor (26.1%).  One gentleman obviously didn’t agree with any of the above choices and wrote WORST in big block letters!

When asked how AAP would fare in the LS polls, a supporter thought the party stood a good chance of winning 20-30 seats which is a good start while Gitesh Desai from the BJP camp believes “the Modi wave that is currently surging across India could bring the BJP/NDA tally to more than 272 seats and in the worst case scenario possibly 220 seats”.  George Abraham from the Congress was equally confident that the Congress would win the elections.

It’s finally a matter of waiting and watching, for in a matter of months the debate will be settled one way or the other.