The recent Times Now and ETG survey, which predicted a resounding victory for the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) in the forthcoming 2024 elections, failed to evoke the expected enthusiasm among YSRCP fans and leaders. Several factors contribute to this lack of excitement.
Analysis of the Times Now and ETG Survey Findings:
Conducted jointly by Times Now and ETG, the opinion poll painted a promising picture for the YSRCP’s electoral prospects in Andhra Pradesh. It projected the YSRCP securing an impressive 24 to 25 Lok Sabha seats while estimating the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to achieve only 0 to 1 MP seat. The survey, conducted between June 15 and August 12, showcased the YSRCP in a leading position, with an estimated 51.3% vote share. Usually, the results of assembly elections also follow the same pattern as the results of MP elections when both elections were conducted at the same time. Despite such positive numbers, YSRCP supporters and leaders appeared unenthusiastic.
Revisiting the Jagan Mohan Reddy-Times Group Connection and 8.15 crore deal:
The revelation surrounding Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy’s previous Rs 8.15 crore association with the Times Group in 2020 raised skepticism among the public. This deal aimed to enhance the state’s image and policies through the Times Network, which includes Times Now channels. This background led some to speculate that the survey results might be influenced by this association, thus diminishing the survey’s credibility.
Dismal Track Record of Times Now Surveys:
The survey’s credibility was further questioned due to Times Now’s past survey inaccuracies. Below are some Instances:
· In the 2015 Bihar assembly elections, where their prediction of NDA winning 120-130 seats proved wrong as the Mahagatbandhan triumphed and BJP got only 53 seats in 243 seat assembly.
· Similarly, in the 2016 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the survey inaccurately forecasted outcomes for INC and BJP. Times now predicted, 147 seats for INC and SP together, and 202 seats for BJP. But SP and INC together got only 54 seats.
· The same pattern repeated in the 2020 Delhi assembly elections. Times now predicted 47 seats for AAP and 23 seats for BJP whereas BJP got only 8 seats, i.e. less than half seats predicted.
· In the 2021 West Bengal assembly elections, Times now predicted 146 for AITC and 112 for BJP whereas AITC got 215 and BJP confined to 77 seats.
These historical misjudgments eroded trust in Times Now’s predictions.
Impact on YSRCP Enthusiasm:
Given the combination of Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy’s previous association with Times Group and the network’s unreliable past survey predictions, YSRCP supporters and leaders were not swayed by the survey’s findings. Doubts about the survey’s objectivity and accuracy prompted a cautious reception, limiting the anticipated excitement.
In conclusion, the YSRCP’s tepid response to the Times Now survey underscores the importance of transparency and accuracy in shaping public opinion. The backdrop of past discrepancies and perceived associations influences how such predictions are received.