Most people in India feel that Narendra Modi is the best prime minister that the country has seen so far. His popularity surpasses that of former prime ministers Indira Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Jawaharlal Nehru. This was revealed in the Mood of the Nation Poll 2019 conducted by the India Today Group.
In the survey, 37 per cent polled Indians ranked Narendra Modi as the best prime minister. With just 14 per cent polled Indians rooting for her, Indira Gandhi was ranked as the second best prime minister of India.
Besides this, founder of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was ranked as the third best PM with 11 per cent polled Indians ranking him as the best. In comparison to this, only nine per cent polled Indians believed that India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru was the best PM that the country has seen so far.
Lal Bahadur Shastri and Rajiv Gandhi got 6 per cent votes, while Manmohan Singh and Guljari Lal Nanda got 5 and 3 per cent respectively. (Guljari Lal Nanda served as acting PM on two occasions.)
The Mood of the Nation (MOTN) poll was conducted before the Narendra Modi government’s landmark decision to scrap the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and bifurcate the erstwhile state into two Union Territories. Had the poll been conducted after the decision, PM Modi’s popularity was expected to be even higher vis-a-vis his predecessors.
HOW MODI SURPASSED INDIRA
The India Today Group has been carrying out the Mood of the Nation (MOTN) poll for the past several years. In each poll we have asked respondents who they think is/was the country’s best PM. In February 2016, the MOTN poll revealed that Indians back then believed that Indira Gandhi was the best Indian PM. In comparison to Indira Gandhi’s popularity (26 per cent polled Indians backed her), PM Modi secured only 14 per cent in February 2016.
But since then, PM Modi’s popularity has been continuously rising. In August 2017, he enjoyed the backing of 33 per cent polled Indians while Indira Gandhi’s share had fallen to 17. (The graphic above shows how PM Modi’s popularity has soared since 2016.)
The India Today Group-Karvy Insights Mood of the Nation (MOTN) poll was conducted by Karvy Insights Limited. A total of 12,126 interviews were conducted (67 per cent rural and 33 per cent urban, and an almost equal number of women and men), spread across 97 parliamentary constituencies and 194 assembly constituencies in 19 states.
These states are: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
The survey was conducted before the official announcement of the dilution of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir by the NDA government.
In each assembly constituency, different starting points were selected covering all the five zones of the constituency: north, south, east, west and centre.
A fixed number of interviews were done in each, rigorously following the right-hand rule of household selection. The fieldwork for the MOTN poll was conducted from July 22, 2019 to July 30, 2019. The survey followed random sampling. All interviews were conducted face to face using a standard structured interview questionnaire, which was translated into regional languages.
A 15 to 20-minute interview was conducted with each respondent and all the responses were collected digitally using tablets and mobile phones.
The poll was conducted under the supervision of Ranjit Chib, chairman of Karvy Insights. He was assisted by vice-president Dixit Chanana and associate vice-presidents Sachin Gupta and Debashish Chatterjee.