More than half the people are satisfied with Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government’s work on various fronts, a unique NDTV survey called ‘Public Opinion’ that examines nine years of PM Modi showed. Despite the Karnataka loss, the PM’s popularity remains strong, and BJP’s vote share remains stable. Over 55 per cent of the respondents — among over 7,000 people across 19 states and 71 Lok Sabha constituencies — said they were either fully or partially satisfied with the government’s work in the last nine years.
17 per cent of respondents said they were fully satisfied, and 38 per cent voted partially satisfied. 19 per cent said they were slightly disappointed, and 21 per cent said they were totally disappointed with the PM Modi-led work. Five per cent said they didn’t know.
Rahul Gandhi’s popularity has risen after his pan-India foot march Bharat Jodo Yatra, the poll, in partnership with Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), has found, but he remains far behind PM Modi.
People remain divided over the central probe agency Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation’s role. 37 per cent said agencies are working as per law. Several opposition parties across the country have repeatedly alleged that the Centre has weaponised these agencies to settle political scores. 32 per cent of respondents agreed with the charge that the agencies are being used for political vendetta. 31 per cent said they had no opinion on it.
The survey, which included people from all social classes, was conducted between May 10 and May 19.
43 per cent of poll participants, when asked who they’d prefer as the Prime Minister if elections were to be held today, chose PM Modi, while 27 per cent voted for Rahul Gandhi. When asked to choose parties they’d vote for today, 39 per cent chose BJP, Congress got 29 per cent votes, and others 28 per cent.
Other top leaders trailed far behind. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal both got four per cent votes, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav was the choice of three per cent of the respondents, and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar got just one per cent votes.
Interestingly, PM Modi doesn’t seem to face anti-incumbency even after two consecutive terms at the Centre. In 2019, he was the preferred choice for the PM for 44 per cent of respondents and has seen a drop of just one per cent in 2023. Rahul Gandhi has seen a three per cent jump as favourite for the top job in the same period — from 24 per cent in 2019 to 27 per cent in 2023.
To a more pointed question about their views on the PM, 40 per cent of respondents said they like him, 23 per cent said they dislike him, 25 per cent remained ambivalent, and 12 per cent did not respond. A majority (25 per cent) of those who said they like the PM said they like him for his oratory, a fifth (20 per cent) said because of development work (vikaspurush), 13 per cent said because he works hard, and an equal percentage like him for his charisma, 11 per cent are impressed by his policies, and 15 per cent cited other reasons. Three per cent did not respond.
On who they see as a challenger to PM Modi in next year’s general elections, Rahul Gandhi was the clear favourite, with 34 per cent voting for him, followed by Arvind Kejriwal, who 11 per cent of respondents backed. Akhilesh Yadav got five per cent votes, Mamata Banerjee four per cent, and a quarter (25 per cent) chose other Opposition leaders.
When questioned about how they feel about Rahul Gandhi, 26 per cent said they have always liked the Congress leader. 15 per cent said they started liking him after the Bharat Jodo Yatra. 16 per cent said they dislike him, and 27 per cent were ambivalent (neither like nor dislike). 16 per cent did not respond.
Almost half (47 per cent) of the respondents said they like the PM Modi-led government’s work on development, and 40 per cent said they didn’t. Eight per cent said it was average, and five per cent said they didn’t know.
On Kashmir, a majority of respondents (30 per cent) said they didn’t like the Centre’s work, while 28 per cent said they did. 13 per cent thought it was average, and 29 per cent didn’t know.
A majority (45 per cent) also didn’t like the government’s efforts in stopping corruption. 41 per cent said they liked it, while eight per cent said it was average. Six per cent said they didn’t know.
However, when asked which big issue was top of their list when voting, just five per cent said it was corruption.
To a direct question on whether they want the PM Modi-led government to return to power again, 43 per cent said they did, while 38 per cent said they didn’t. 18 per cent did not respond.
The BJP, which got a 37 per cent vote share in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, can expect a two per cent bump, the survey showed. Congress, which got 19 per cent, will go up to 29 per cent.