Indians have 'very favourable view' of PM Modi: Pew survey | india | Hindustan Times
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Indians have 'very favourable view' of PM Modi: Pew survey

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity continues to soar in India despite a year in office with all the attendant problems and disappointments, according to a new poll released Thursday.

india Updated: Sep 18, 2015 07:35 IST
Yashwant Raj
Prime Minister Narendra Modi poses for a selfie with a co-passenger while travelling by the Delhi Metro to Faridabad. (PTI Photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi poses for a selfie with a co-passenger while travelling by the Delhi Metro to Faridabad. (PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity continues to soar in India despite a year in office with all the attendant problems and disappointments, according to a new poll released Thursday.

An overwhelming 87% of those polled said they held a “favourable” view of the prime minister, and they included supporters of rival parties such as the Congress and AAP.

His popularity has created a “Modi bounce”, as the report put it, an all-around salutary impact on the country: “Modi’s appeal is a driving force behind … (an) upsurge in Indians’ positive mood.

Over half of the respondents — 56% — said they were satisfied with the direction in which the country was going, and 74% said the economy was currently in good shape.

“Public satisfaction with India’s direction has nearly double (since 2013) and pride in the country is up,” said Pew Research Center, a US body, based on a poll conducted in April-May.

But despite the “bounce”, there were concerns, the report said: over crime, rising prices, unemployment, pollution, bad schools, income inequalities and healthcare.

On personal popularity, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was second with 62%, followed by AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal with 60%, and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, with 58%.

The poll found widespread support for Modi’s handling of main domestic concerns such as price rise and unemployment, and terrorism and corruption, and foreign relations, specially ties with the US.

But the PM scored the lowest approval rating on the domestic front, the Pew report said, for his management of communal affairs — 53% approved and 35% disapproved.

His support was higher on this issue among respondents with college education, compared to those with just primary education, and, as could be expected, among BJP supporters.

On international affairs, respondents were unhappiest with his handling of relations with Pakistan, which have been rocky — just 25% approved, 50% disapproved and 25% had no views.

Relations with the nuclear-armed neighbor has swung between highs — such as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s presence at Modi’s swearing in — to lows, such as cancellation of talks.

The prime minister scored indifferently over relations with China and Russia, whose leaders Xi Jinxing and Vladimir Putin visited India and Modi visited them.

But he got full marks for his handling of ties with the United States — 66% approved, and only 13 disapproved. Modi is visiting the US next week, his second as prime minister.

Most Indians also held a favorable view of the US, the poll found. And President Obama is more popular with Indians now — 74% see him in a positive light — than in 2013.

Among Indian institutions, religious leaders came out least popular with 59% approval. The military was most popular, followed by the national government, media and the courts.