Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently in his seventh consecutive year in office and is seeking to retain control even after a decade. The country will be going to the Lok Sabha polls in 2024 when his regime would hit its tenth year and with no potential contender for him within the party, Modi will most likely be the BJP's Prime Minister's face for the third successive time. However, what helped Modi in past will less likely come to his rescue in future --his popularity. The latest study has found that his popularity has been getting dimmed in an unprecedented fashion.
The survey conducted by India Today had shown that Narendra Modi's popularity as the next choice as India's Prime Minister has fallen in the past six months. According to the survey, in the albeit of securing the most votes - 24% feel he is the best choice for Prime Minister, the vote share in favour of him had rapidly decreased. In January 2021, the vote share stood at 38% and the same was at 66% in August 2020. It had revealed that Modi has lost his popularity by 40% in a year.
The survey further showed that after Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath stood in second place with 11% of votes as the best choice for Prime Minister while Rahul Gandhi stood at the third place with 10%. According to reports, India Today's Mood of the Nation survey was conducted between July 10 and July 20 this year across 115 parliamentary and 230 assembly constituencies in 19 states -Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
For the survey, a total of 14,559 interviews were conducted (71% rural and 29% urban areas) and 50% of the interviews were done face-to-face while the rest were done over the phone. As per the findings of the survey, 29% of people had said that they feel the Supreme Court's verdict on the Ram temple was the NDA government's biggest achievement while 22% feel the abrogation of Article 370 has been the biggest achievement. On the front of failures, 29% feel that the biggest failure of the Union government is the increase in prices and inflation followed by unemployment.
Responding to the question of India's biggest problem, 23% of the respondents had said that the Covid-19 pandemic is the country's biggest problem, while 19% feel the price rise and inflation as the biggest problem followed by unemployment, as per 17% of the respondents. The survey has ranked the popularity of leaders and celebrities on the corridors of politics, economy and governance, Covid-19 situation, and entertainment. In politics, the survey has revealed that PM Modi was voted as the best Prime Minister so far with 27% of the votes while former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee was behind the incumbent with 19% of votes.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was ranked as the best Chief Minister in India, followed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The survey has said that most respondents had asserted that they will vote for the BJP although there was a reducal in the vote share since January 2021. It has also shown that 24% of the respondents feel Union Home Minister Amit Shah is the best person to succeed PM Modi while 19% had voted for Adityanath as the successor of Modi. 29% of the respondents had also said that they feel Amit Shah is the best performing minister in the Modi administration.
On the aisle of opposition, 17% of the respondents had said that Rahul Gandhi can resurrect the Congress party and 14% of the votes have gone to Manmohan Singh. 28% of the respondents had also voted for Manmohan Singh to be the best-suited leader to lead the Congress party outside the Gandhi family. 49% feel that an opposition alliance is possible to challenge the Modi-led BJP at the Union government and 20% have voted that Arvind Kejriwal is best suited to challenge followed by Mamata Banerjee with 17% of votes. On the front of Entertainment, 51% of the respondents had expressed that the OTT platforms must be censored.
Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan has been voted as the number one actor in the country with 24% of the votes followed by Akshay Kumar (18%) and Rajinikanth (10%). Deepika Padukone has earned 17% of the votes and won the tag of number one actress followed by Katrina Kaif with 11%. In the Economy and Governance, 69% of the respondents had said that their income went down due to the pandemic and 17% lost their jobs. 46% feel that only big businesses have benefitted the most from the economic policies of the Modi government. 57% of people feel the Union government should go ahead with the three farm laws against which the farmers are protesting for almost a year now.
61% have voted in favour of restricting people with more than two children in jobs, benefits, and elections. There has also been a decline in the number of people who feel India is safe for women. In January 2021, 45% had felt that India is the safe country for women and the share had come down to 38% in August 2021. 51% had agreed that people are scared to protest in India fearing arrest and 45% feel that democracy in India is in peril. The Union government had also lost the support in its economic handling -- in January 2021, 66% felt that the government was doing a good job in handling the economy and in August 2021, it has fallen to 47%.
On the front of the Covid-19 pandemic, the survey had revealed that there has been a fall in the perception of how well a Chief Minister has managed the situation. In January 2021, 50% of the respondents had said that the Chief Ministers have done a good job and it has now declined to 42%. The survey had also shown that 31% feel their Chief Minister's handling of the pandemic was average while 13% feel the handling was excellent. 73% of respondents had voted for Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik when it has come to the best Chief Minister in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. Following Patnaik were Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (72%), Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren (63%), and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin with 62%. 71% of respondents had said that the Covid-19 pandemic has killed more people in India than what has been reflected in the government data and 44% feel both the Union and state governments are responsible for the suffering of people during the second wave.
According to the just-published India Today Mood of the Nation survey, only 24% think Modi is best choice for next PM. The second choice at 11% is Yogi Adityanath. Modi as the first choice has gone down sharply from 66% a year ago to 24% now. pic.twitter.com/wKPcIfM4bd— Shivam Vij 🇮🇳 (@DilliDurAst) August 16, 2021