Modi's popularity fell 42% in last one year

Indian PM Modi's popularity fell from 66% in August 2020 to 24% in August 2021 while Rahul Gandhi is still trailing behind at 10%

According to the survey conducted by India Today under the title of Mood of the Nation, India PM Narendra Modi’s popularity as the next choice as India’s Prime Minister has fallen in the last one year. His popularity fell from 66% in August 2020 to 24% in august 2021.

This is a massive fall and the PM's lowest popularity rating in the last seven years he has held office. Since the fall has taken place during the last six months, it can broadly be attributed to the PM's handling of the COVID-19 second wave, his handling of the economy with inflation being the main factor, and the BJP's defeat in the Bengal Assembly elections.

Most of the other national surveys conducted also indicate a fall in PM Modi's popularity in the last six months. However, their conclusion was that the fall took place around April-May when the COVID-19 second wave was at its peak.

Despite the fall in Modi's popularity, if elections are held today, BJP will emerge as the single largest party. BJP led NDA is likely to win the simple majority of 272 seats to from the government. The survey does reveal an improvement in the Opposition's prospects. 

According to the survey, if elections are held today, the UPA could get 105 seats and other non-NDA parties could get 140. The NDA is at 298. This means that if the Opposition does come together, it could make matters difficult for the BJP.

 If Congress, left parties and major anti-BJP regional parties form a grand alliance- it would be in a position to make life difficult for Modi and BJP. 

However, the survey reveals a flux within the Opposition space, with no one leader emerging as the main challenger to Modi, even though the individual popularity of Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, and Arvind Kejriwal have marginally increased.

A lot would depend on what happens in UP. If Yogi Adityanath comes back to power with a sizable majority, his popularity within the BJP space could increase, possibly at Modi's expense. On the other hand, if he loses, it may provide a major boost to the Opposition.

This places Modi in a curious position - winning UP could strengthen a rival within his own party but losing it could strengthen the party's rivals.

Though Prime Minister Modi got the most votes — 24% feel he is the best choice for PM — the share of votes he received has fallen from 38% in January 2020, and 66% in August 2020. According to the poll, after PM Modi, Yogi Adityanath is in second place with 11% of votes in his favour (an increase from 3% in August 2020), followed by Rahul Gandhi (10%).

29% feel that the NDA government’s biggest achievement is the Supreme Court’s Ram temple verdict and 22% feel it is the revocation of Article 370.

29% feel that the biggest failure of the Union government is the price rise and the inflation, followed by unemployment.

Most responders have shared that they will vote for BJP, but the share has reduced since January 2021. 24% feel Union Home Minister Amit Shah is the best person to succeed Prime Minister Modi, followed by 19% who prefer Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. 29% feel that Amit Shah is the best performing minister in the Modi government.

When it comes to the Opposition, 17% feel Rahul Gandhi can revive the Congress and 14% of votes have gone to Manmohan Singh. Manmohan Singh has also got the maximum votes (28%) to be the non-Gandhi leader best-suited to lead the Congress. 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 do so, followed by Mamata Banerjee (17%).

India Today’s Mood of the Nation survey was conducted between July 10 and July 20, 2021, 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. A total of 14,559 interviews were conducted (71% rural and 29% urban areas) and 50% were face-to-face and 50% were telephonic interviews.

                                                            Rukhsana Manzoor Deputy Editor       

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