WHO IS BEST SUITED TO BE THE NEXT PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA?
LAST AUGUST, when Modi had bounced back in the reckoning, the reasons were clear: he had formulated a dhoti-kurta budget that was pro-poor and pro-farmer even while being supportive of business—a fine balancing act. He had effected a reshuffle of his team which sent a signal that he was unafraid to crack the whip. He had also successfully piloted the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill through both houses of Parliament showing a new face of accommodation to the Opposition.
Since the August poll, Modi has made two major moves: one on the foreign policy front when in the last week of September he ordered surgical strikes right thing and working out the rationale for a decision.
However, once Modi is convinced, he is decisive and exhibits courage, toughness and resilience to implement his ideas. His sense of timing has so far been impeccable. For Modi, there are no half measures. Or full stops. Another piece of advice: Never take him lightly—he means what he says.
The latest india today-Karvy Insights Mood of the Nation (MOTN) poll vindicates this assessment of the prime minister. If in the August 2016 MOTN, Modi’s fortunes showed a mild upswing after the NDA’s seat forecasts had fallen precipitously in two consecutive MOTN polls, the January 2017 survey results bring glad tidings for the prime minister. It is the first major opinion poll since demonetisation, and voters have given Modi an unambiguous thumbs up. Were an election held today, the NDA would get 360 seats—a substantial gain of 56 seats over the survey done in August. What is more, the BJP tally alone would bring in 305 seats, giving it a comfortable majority in the Lok Sabha and making it less dependent on its allies (see accompanying charts).
Modi’s popularity ratings have also shown a remarkable surge: 65 per cent see him as best suited to be prime minister, up by 15 percentage points since August and way ahead of his nearest rival Rahul Gandhi who polled just 10 per cent of the votes. And the percentage of people who rated his performance as good to outstanding rose to 69 as compared to 53 per cent six months ago. Such is the rise that Modi for the first time since he assumed office in 2014 is rated as the best prime minister the country has had, scoring an even higher percentage of votes in his favour than two of the most popular former prime ministers, Indira Gandhi and Atal Behari Vajpayee.