Over three years into his tenure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to ride a wave of overwhelming public support which has remained unchanged in North India, risen in western region and South India, while a slight decline in the eastern part of the country, according to a new survey conducted by US-based Pew Research Center.
According to the survey conducted among 2,464 respondents in India from February 21 to March 10, 2017, at least nine out of ten people in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana and in the western states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh hold a favourable view of PM Modi.
Similarly, more than eight out of ten people in the eastern states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal and the northern states of Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Narendra Modi more popular than the Gandhis
The survey further states that till date, PM Modi has been the most popular national figure in Indian politics tested in the survey.
PM Modi’s favourable rating is 31 percentage points higher as compared to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, which is 30 points more than that of Rahul Gandhi.
A big reason behind the staggering public support to PM Modi is the increasing satisfaction with the nation’s economy. According to the survey, eight out of ten people say that the economic conditions are good, up 19 percentage points since immediately before the 2014 General election.
Moreover, the share of adults who believe that the economy is ‘very good’ (30 per cent) has tripled in the past three years.
Overall, seven-in-ten Indians are now contented with the way things are going in the country. This positive assessment to India’s direction has nearly doubled since 2014 when Narendra Modi-led BJP government came to power in Centre.
Growing polarisation of PM Modi – a comparison between BJP and Congress adherents
Views of PM Modi’s performance are increasingly partisan as the divide widens between supporters of the BJP and the Congress over the achievements of the central government.
The 2017 partisan gap in favourable approval of Modi is 32 percentage points, larger than the 20-point divide in 2015 but relatively unchanged from 2016, says the Pew Survey.
Majorities of those who identify with the BJP approve of PM Modi’s handling of various domestic issues. At least seven-in-ten Indians approve of how he has helped the poor and handled unemployment, terrorism and corruption. Approval in these four areas is up 10 points or more since 2016.
On all eight of the issues surveyed, BJP adherents are more likely than Congress backers to approve of Modi’s performance, by 25 points or more.
BJP supporters have a more positive opinion on the economy than Congress supporters. But both groups are similarly satisfied with the direction of the country, despite a partisan gap of 18 points in 2016.
The survey stating that around 80 per cent Indians are contented with the situation of nation’s economy is contradictory to Opposition’s claims that the economy has been severely hit by Centre’s reforms like demonetisation and GST.
Also, the latest survey supports the Centre’s theory which seems to have convinced people that whatever be the immediate consequences of the steps taken by the Prime Minister, it will have a positive effect in the long term.