NOTICE | The secrets of Modi’s popularity
In order to gauge the political mood of people across India, we commissioned a nationwide opinion poll titled “Desh Ki Awaaz” to find out which party would win if a Lok Sabha election were held now . The India TV-Matrize opinion poll predicted that the Modi-led NDA would win an outright majority in the event of an early LS election.
The NDA is expected to sweep polls in India’s North, West, Central and North East, while regional and non-BJP parties will fare better in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, India. Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, and at the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal. This, in a nutshell, was the conclusion of the Indian television opinion poll.
In the approval ratings, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stands tall with 48% popular acceptance, with other opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee and others lagging far behind. The survey was conducted by Matrize News between July 11 and July 24 with 34,000 respondents, including nearly 20,000 men and 14,000 women.
The opinion poll predicted that the Modi-led NDA would win 362 seats out of a total of 543 LS seats. If this trend continues until the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Narendra Modi can make history. Only Jawaharlal Nehru won three consecutive Lok Sabha elections in 1952, 1957 and 1962, and Modi may very well match Nehru’s record. Normally anti-incumbent sentiment sets in after a leader completes five years in office, but in Modi’s case it appears to be the exact opposite. Its popularity rating is constantly increasing, despite several problems such as community tensions, rising prices and unemployment.
The India TV-Matrize opinion poll gives the following party projection, if a Lok Sabha election takes place now:
NDA 362 (BJP 326, JD(U) 14, Shinde Shiv Sena 11, Others 11),
UPA 97 seats (Congress 39, DMK 25, NCP 6, RJD 4, Thackeray Shiv Sena 3, Others 20).
The “others”, including regional parties, can win 84 seats (Trinamool Congress 26, YSR Congress 9, TRS 8, Aam Aadmi Party 5, Samajwadi Party 2, independents and others 24).
The projections clearly reflect the positive effects of strong leadership. The stronger a leader, the brighter his image, the better his electoral performance. Rahul Gandhi’s leadership is poorly reflected in Congress’ declining graph since 2014 when Modi came to power. The survey clearly shows that Congress can set a dubious record of hitting the minimum mark. This comes at a time when there is a global pandemic and a war in Ukraine causing an economic crisis across the globe, yet the Modi-led NDA is set to increase its seat count.
It was Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal who told Rajya Sabha that by distributing free food grains to millions of poor Indians during the pandemic, Modi has touched people’s heartstrings. This seems to be the main reason why NDA should improve their tally.
How Modi managed to outflank opposition parties and become India’s No.1 leader right now. To get the answer, it is not necessary to consult a survey. Opposition leaders like Mamata Banerjee, Sharad Pawar, K. Chandrashekhar Rao and HD Devegowda have repeatedly said in public that a single opposition leader can never find the strength to challenge Modi. Opposition parties must unite to challenge Modi.
Almost all opposition leaders have acknowledged that Modi is currently India’s most popular, biggest and strongest leader. The results of the survey only seal this feeling. In the last eight years of his governance, Modi has boosted his stature in politics to a level that no other opposition leader can dream of. There isn’t a single leader who seems to have the potential to challenge him.
What are the secrets of Modi’s popularity?
I think the main reason is: Modi’s hard work. He works from early morning until late at night, whether in the area of governance or solving organizational problems of the BJP, or preparing the party for elections. Modi leads from the front, both in government and in his party. Naturally, a statesman who works hard day and night, without taking breaks for entertainment, is destined to become popular among the masses. In my 40 year career, I have never seen a leader who has worked so hard.
The second secret to Modi’s success lies in his plans to help the poor and downtrodden. By implementing innovative plans, he won the trust of the poorer class. The leaders who preceded Modi used to make only promises, but failed to implement them. During Modi’s regime, the lower middle class and poorer strata got houses, free rations, electricity, water, good roads and cooking gas. The masses felt that there was a leader there who not only promises, but fulfills them as soon as possible. The natural corollary: why wouldn’t the poor support Modi in this case? All these points are reflected in our investigation which we aired on India TV on Friday.
There are other reasons why Modi’s popularity rating is on the rise. First, the ordinary Indian believes that Modi is a staunch patriot and the nation is secure in his hands.
Second, before Modi became prime minister, ordinary people felt that the leaders at the top were dishonest and that there was widespread corruption in politics. After Modi ruled for eight years, the man in the street has regained the confidence he lost earlier. People realized that there can be governance without corruption and leaders can be honest. The man in the street has not an iota of doubt about Modi’s honesty.
Third, the Hindu society in India now believes that the Center government no longer follows the policy of appeasement under Modi’s rule. Leaders of opposition parties have also started visiting temples, offering prayers, showing their ‘janeu’ (sacred thread) and presenting themselves as a ‘good Hindu’.
Fourth point: Modi has a strong team with him who keeps a ‘third eye’ on political opponents. This team is constantly trying to put the opposition in place.
Fifthly, compared to other parties, BJP leaders and workers have full confidence in one leader, there is no second center of power in BJP, nor parallel leadership in government. BJP leaders and workers believe that only Modi can win elections for the party and lead the government. The India TV survey confirms this perspective.
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