More than half of voters in the bellwether state of Uttar Pradesh prefer Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a second term, but not down south in Tamil Nadu, where Congress chief Rahul Gandhi surges ahead in popularity, an India Today TV survey has found.
UP WANTS MODI AGAIN
In the Hindi heartland of UP, 55 per cent of the voters support Modi as the next PM, up from 51 per cent in January and 48 per cent in October.
Rahul Gandhi is the choice of 28 per cent respondents in the latest PSE poll, up from 22 per cent five months ago.
Overall satisfaction with the central government grew to 57 per cent in March, up from 54 per cent in January and 53 per cent in October, the data showed.
Twenty-nine per cent of the respondents registered their dissatisfaction, compared to 32 per cent in January and 28 per cent in October.
Sixty-three per cent of the respondents gave full marks to the Modi government for its post-Pulwama action.
JOBS KEY ISSUE IN UP
For 31 per cent of voters, unemployment remains the most important election issue in Uttar Pradesh followed by terrorism (20 per cent) and stray cattle (14 per cent), according to the PSE.
At the same time, close to 35 per cent of the respondents said the job situation has improved in the state over the past five years.
Twenty-four per cent disagreed, saying it has deteriorated. Thirty-two per cent found no change on the employment front.
LAW-AND-ORDER IN UP
Forty-three per cent of the PSE respondents rated the state’s law and order as having improved. Another 22 per cent said it has worsened.
FARM ECONOMY IN UP
Thirty-two per cent vouched for betterment in farmers’ financial situation over the past five years while 28 per cent found no change in it. Twenty-two per cent said the state’s farmers are worse than before.
The PSE in UP was based on representative sampling across the state’s demography and geography, with a sample size of 4,280. It was conducted between March 13 and March 15.
RAHUL GANDHI SOARS DOWN SOUTH
The Congress president’s popularity has surged in Tamil Nadu over the past five months — from 36 per cent in October 2018, 39 per cent in January to 46 per cent in March this year.
PM Modi, on the other hand, received support of 35 per cent of the respondents in March, from 28 per cent in January and 29 per cent in October last year.
DMK chief MK Stalin lagged behind on the preference chart for the next PM — at six per cent in March, down from eight per cent in January and October.
Thirty-seven per cent of the respondents expressed their dissatisfaction with the Modi government in March. Dissatisfaction levels were, however, higher before — 41 per cent in January and 38 per cent in October.
Comparatively, more voters voiced their satisfaction with the Modi government in March (29 per cent), compared with 24 per cent in January and October each.
Over 50 per cent of the respondents said they were fully satisfied with the central government for its response to the Pulwama attack; twenty-two per cent were partially satisfied and 15 per cent completely dissatisfied.
CAUVERY, JOBS KEY ISSUES
That said, the February 26 airstrikes in Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack ranked low — 12 per cent — on the list of the most pressing issues for voters in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Almost 25 per cent of the respondents rated the Cauvery water dispute with Karnataka as a high-priority concern followed by unemployment (23 per cent), the PSE showed.
Terrorism mattered to only five per cent of the voters, the data showed.
The PSE in Tamil Nadu was based on representative sampling across demography and geography of the state, with a sample size of 1,990. The survey was conducted between March 13 and March 15.