Should Narendra Modi be worried about the decline in popularity?

 Narendra Modi has been ruling the hearts of Indian voters for a long time. He has won two consecutive general elections on the basis of the financially and organizationally strong Bharatiya Janata Party.

Narendra Modi, in the name of Hindu nationalism, has created a strong political ground and defeated the opponents by wooing the voters with his charisma and political tact. But it also has to be believed that luck has also supported him a lot.

His supporters have forgiven him for his hasty decisions like demonetisation (sudden demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in 2016).

With the economy going through a relatively bad phase, especially after the pandemic, people's support for them does not seem to have waned. And the lack of a strong opposition has also proved helpful for them.

But in spite of all this, the immense public support that Narendra Modi is getting has started declining?

 

Huge drop in popularity

A survey by India Today Magazine has revealed that only 24 per cent people believe that 70-year-old Narendra Modi is a suitable candidate to be the new Prime Minister of India. 14,600 people took part in this survey.

The next general elections for the post of Prime Minister are to be held in the year 2024. This survey has registered a decline of 42 points as compared to a similar survey conducted a year ago.

Yogendra Yadav, a politician who has experienced such surveys for a long time, says, "In my 20-year-long experience of opinion polling, I do not remember a sentence when the popularity of a prime minister has seen such a drastic decline."

This year has been very challenging for Narendra Modi. Millions of people died in the second wave of corona virus. Appropriate steps were not taken by the government to deal with it, due to which the very carefully crafted image of PM Modi has been shaken at the international level.

Along with this, the struggle continues in the economy. Inflation is high, petrol and diesel prices are sky high and spending and jobs are falling.


 Public problems

Some problems and mistrust have also been revealed in this survey. About 70 percent of the people who participated in it have told that their income has decreased during the pandemic. And the same number of people believe that the real figure of people who died of corona is much more than the official figure of 430,000.

But 36 percent of the people said that PM Modi has handled the epidemic well.

At the same time, only 13 percent people believe that only the central government is responsible for the suffering people have suffered. And 44 percent of the people believe that the federal and state governments did not deal with Covid properly.


 Why is popularity decreasing?

Keeping the epidemic aside, all those things come to the fore in this survey, which shows where is the decline in Modi's popularity coming from.

Inflation and lack of jobs have emerged as the two biggest concerns. Nearly a third of people believe that the Modi government's failure to control prices has been the biggest failure of the Modi government.

"Modi's decline in popularity is not surprising," says Rahul Verma, a fellow at the Delhi-based Center for Policy Research.

Modi has been a polarizing leader. Critics say that the freedom of the press has suffered greatly under his rule. The Prime Minister has not held a single press conference since he came to power in 2014. And the protest against them is being crushed.

Modi and his party are accused of inciting communal tension by sending polarizing messages in gestures and gestures without provoking their opponents.

The vociferous protests over the citizenship law and the proposed agricultural laws have dented Modi's image of an invincible leader.

In the month of May, his party had to face a humiliating defeat in the assembly elections of West Bengal. This has played a part in boosting the morale of his opponents.

Many believe that a leader whose face is covered in everything from billboards to vaccine certificates and newspapers to TV commercials, such a drastic decline in his popularity could be a sign of the dissolution of the aura that surrounds him.

 


Can this survey be trusted?

But are these surveys, which capture voters' feedback in different ways, able to gauge the mood of a country?

According to Morning Consult, an organization that tracks national ratings of elected leaders in 13 countries, Narendra Modi's popularity has seen a decline of 25 points compared to May last year.

But even after this, Modi is far ahead of other leaders with 47 percent in mid-August.

A survey conducted by Indian polling agency Prasyanam in June revealed that in the year 2024, 33 per cent people consider Modi a suitable candidate for prime minister.

C Voter, the polling agency that conducts 10,000 interviews in 543 Lok Sabha constituencies of the country every week, has come to know that PM Modi's popularity rating was 37 percent in the month of May, which was 22 points down compared to August last year.

In May, his party lost the elections in West Bengal and India was in a state of panic due to the second wave.

Since then the rating of Modi has improved which is currently at 44%.

Yashwant Deshmukh of CVoter says, "I think the bad times are over. His ratings have never gone below 37 per cent because of a dedicated support base.

Deshmukh believes that public opinion about leaders and their work can be gauged properly by conducting surveys regularly.

Interestingly, the chief ministers of Modi's party have also lagged behind in these surveys. In a recent survey by CVoter, 9 out of the ten most popular chief ministers are leaders from non-BJP parties.

Modi has managed to save his place.

However, Deshmukh says, "many people still trust him and think his intentions are right."

A fall in these ratings will not be enough to throw Modi out of power. Even at its lowest level, his rating was more than twice that of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

In such a situation, the Prime Minister may be getting additional support in the absence of a strong opposition.

Rahul Verma says that, "Modi is still ahead in the race but the fall in ratings should worry him a bit."