New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the best prime minister India has had to date, said 44 per cent of respondents in India Today’s ‘Mood Of The Nation’ (MOTN) survey released Saturday. Sixty-six per cent already consider him the best choice for the next election while Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was a far second with 8 per cent votes.
A high 78 per cent of the people surveyed found the performance of PM Modi ‘outstanding or good’, while 17 per cent considered it ‘average’ and a 5 per cent termed it ‘poor’.
Modi’s popularity ratings overtook his own previous best, with 69 per cent calling him ‘outstanding or good’ in the January 2017 MOTN survey.
The most significant achievement of the Modi government according to 16 per cent of the respondents was the revocation of Article 370 — a dip of four percentage points from the January 2020 survey.
However, the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya has become more popular with time — 13 per cent see it as the most significant achievement, as opposed to the 9 per cent who said so in the January survey.
But matters of governance don’t seem to be as much of a hit among PM Modi’s admirers. Only 11 per cent said the ‘improved infrastructure’ was the government’s big achievement and 9 per cent rated the ‘corruption-free governance’ as a grand achievement. Just 1 per cent saw the controversial passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act in Parliament as a big achievement.
Among the government’s failures, 25 per cent indicated the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic as the biggest failure while the migrant crisis during lockdown was scored 14 per cent.
One per cent said communal violence and fear among minorities was failure of the Modi government failure; similarly, 1 per said the ‘deteriorating relations with neighbours’ is a failure.
On handling Covid crisis
India became the third country to cross 20 lakh coronavirus cases Friday, right behind the US and Brazil.
Despite the high number of cases, the pandemic doesn’t seem to have made a dent on PM Modi’s popularity, according to the survey. Seventy seven per cent of respondents rated the prime minister’s handling of the pandemic as ‘good or outstanding’.
Despite widespread criticism of the economic losses caused by the pandemic, about 71 per cent of the respondents said this issue had been handled in a ‘good or outstanding’ manner by the central government.
Seventy seven per cent respondents also said they had faith in the country’s healthcare system.
Anti-China sentiment appeared to be running high in the country, with 59 per cent saying India should go to war with its eastern neighbour over the Ladakh stand-off. When asked how India’s military capabilities compare with China’s, 72 per cent said they believe India could win in a war against China.
In mid-June, India lost 20 soldiers in a skirmish at Galwan Valley, following which the Modi government came under attack by opposition parties. However, 69 per cent think India has given a befitting answer to China.
The Modi government’s decision to ban 59 Chinese apps last month was another popular move, with 90 per cent respondents registering their approval of boycotting Chinese products in India. A sizeable 67 per cent said they are ready to pay more for goods not made in China.
Yogi Adityanath and Rahul Gandhi
Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath was rated as the best chief minister of the country, according to 24 per cent of the respondents, while 15 per cent chose Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal.
Home Minister Amit Shah topped the list of the 10 best-performing ministers of Modi’s cabinet (43 per cent) while Defence Minister Rajnath Singh came second (17 per cent).
The Congress party didn’t fare too well, though. Forty seven per cent of respondents said the grand old party is heading towards a ‘demise’.
However, 23 per cent put their faith in Rahul Gandhi to revive it while only 18 per cent voted in favour of former PM, Manmohan Singh. Fourteen per cent went with interim president Sonia Gandhi, and another 14 per cent chose Priyanka Gandhi.
How the survey was conducted
The survey was conducted by Delhi-based market research agency Karvy Insights between 15 and 27 July this year. The results are based on a total of 12,021 interviews conducted — 67 per cent in rural and 33 per cent in urban areas.
The survey was conducted across 97 parliamentary constituencies and 194 assembly constituencies in 19 states, including Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala, among others.
India Today states that the poll has traditionally been conducted using the face–to-face interviewing method. But this time around, due to the pandemic, all interviews were conducted telephonically using a standard structured questionnaire, which was translated into regional languages.