The poll has lent Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janta Party a major morale boost ahead of crucial assembly elections in his home state of Gujarat.
New Delhi (Sputnik) — A new opinion poll has found that nine out of every 10 Indians nurture favorable opinions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The research conducted by US-based think tank Pew Research Centre has invalidated the recent slew of media criticism against some of Modi’s economic measures. Pew posits that Modi’s popularity is far ahead of any other leader’s in India.
The Pew poll found that 88 percent of Indians held a favorable view of Modi in comparison to the 87 percent who gave him a thumbs-up in 2015. This means his popularity has increased after spending three years in office as prime minister, a phenomenon unusual for India’s political set up where a leader’s popularity melts into anti-incumbency by the time the next elections approach.
“Three years into Modi’s five-year tenure, the honeymoon period for his administration may be over but the public’s love affair with the current conditions in India is even more intense,” Pew said commenting on its findings.
Nevertheless, Modi’s critics have vociferously challenged the objectivity of the survey on several counts.
The survey was conducted in February and March, a few months after Modi announced the withdrawal of 86 percent of the high-denomination currency notes in circulation at the time with the aim to wipe out black money from the economy.
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The opposition has since upped the ante blaming the demonetization and the recently introduced sweeping tax reforms — GST — for the economic slowdown the country is currently facing. But more than 80 percent of those surveyed by Pew said economic conditions were not that bad.