Aserved his alliance well. Its rating is 71 per cent, up from a fading 48 per cent in the August 2016 MOTN poll. But the PM would do well to listen to the latent anxieties of his people—unemployment and corruption remain major concerns, followed by cash crunch and price rise. The people of India have tremendous patience, but they need more than fine speeches and good intentions to keep their faith in him. The PM has radically altered the political landscape with his overwhelming personality for now. The results of the forthcoming state elections will be a vindication or otherwise of his unique style of leadership.
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What’s more, the popularity gap between him and his nearest rival is enormous; Rahul Gandhi scores a measly 10 per cent against Modi’s 65. Yet, the respondents are not blinded by their endorsement of Modi’s policies. Over half of them believe demonetisation was poorly implemented, causing more pain than gain. Clearly, halfway into his term, the PM has established a direct, deeply emotive rapport with the people, sometimes urging them to savage him at a public square if he fails and at other times reminding them of his outsider status, the ‘fakir’ who needs not even a minute’s notice to abandon the trappings of power. He has convinced them of his brand of ‘ashawadi’ (hopeful) politics and a reimagined India.
Modi’s Action Hero image has