• Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Modi remains India’s dominant leader even as Rahul Gandhi’s popularity rises, says poll

Nine per cent of those surveyed said no one could challenge the incumbent prime minister while 34 per cent said Rahul Gandhi is capable of.

(L-R) Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Indian National Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by prime minister Narendra Modi might have lost Karnataka, the only state it ruled in the country’s southern part, in the recent elections but if a survey is to be believed, it has not hurt the top leader’s popularity much.

According to ‘Public Opinion’, a special NDTV survey carried out in partnership with Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Modi remains India’s most popular leader and leads the country’s choice for the top job.

The survey, which sought to gauge the public mood ahead of the ninth anniversary of the Modi government, was carried out across 19 states of India between May 10 and 19, just after the elections were held in Karnataka where the BJP lost power to the opposition Indian National Congress in a rare defeat. A number of states in the country will go to polls over the next many months followed by the general elections next year.

Forty three per cent of the survey’s respondents said that if elections were held today, Modi is their top choice for the prime minister’s post. Rahul Gandhi of the Congress, who recently lost his seat in the parliament following conviction in a defamation case, was the closest with 27 per cent approval. West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee and Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal were at a distant third position with four per cent, followed by the former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav (three per cent); Bihar chief minister Akhilesh Yadav (one per cent) and others  (18 per cent).

A slight dip in Modi’s popularity

Modi witnessed a marginal dip of one per cent if the figures of 2019 and 2023 are compared (44 to 43 per cent) while Rahul Gandhi saw a three per cent rise (24 to 27 per cent).

Forty per cent said they liked Modi and while 25 per cent liked him for his oratory skills. Twenty per cent liked him because of his focus on development while 13 per cent each for his hard work and charisma.

In terms of the party, the BJP’s vote share remained steady despite its loss in Karnataka. Around 43 per cent of the respondents said the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance should win a third term next year, 38 per cent disagreed. Nearly 40 per cent said they would vote for the BJP if elections were held today. The Congress got 29 per cent of the votes.

The saffron party’s vote share went by two per cent between 2019 (37 per cent) and 2023 (39 per cent). The Congress’s share also increased — from 19 per cent in 2019 to 29 per cent in 2023.

When the respondents asked who they believed could challenge Modi in 2024, 34 per cent named Rahul Gandhi while 11 per cent backed Kejriwal. Yadav got five per cent and Banerjee four per cent. Nine per cent of those surveyed said no one could challenge the incumbent prime minister.

Over 55 per cent of the people said they were satisfied with the government’s work.

The survey was conducted with 7,202 respondents spread across 71 constituencies.

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