Published: Fri, November 17, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Pew survey a testimony to Modi's rule, popularity: Amit Shah

Pew survey a testimony to Modi's rule, popularity: Amit Shah

Broad public satisfaction with economy; declining support for U.S.

India, which was ranked 142nd when the Narendra Modi government took office in 2014 and 130th last year, is the only large country this year to have achieved such a significant shift on the back of reforms in taxation, construction permits, investor protection and bankruptcy resolution.

The research was conducted by Pew Research Center who surveyed 2,464 respondents in India from February 21 to March 10, 2017.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is overwhelmingly popular in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana according to the latest Pew survey.

More than 8 out of 10 in eastern India states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal. "Since 2015, Modi's popularity is relatively unchanged in the north, has risen in the west and the south, and is down slightly in the east", says the report which was presented by Mr. Stokes at a think tank here.

"Young Indians, those aged 18 to 29, show slightly greater intensity of support (for Modi) than their elders, ages 50 and older", the note said, adding "no other major political figure in India approaches Modi's level of public support".

"More than eight-in-ten say economic conditions are good, up 19 percentage points since immediately before the 2014 election".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
PM Narendra Modi is more popular in southern India than North India, says Pew survey

Adding to this, the share of adults who believe that the economy is "very good" (30 per cent) has tripled in the past three years.

Overall, 70 per cent Indians are "satisfied" with the way things are going in the country. This positive assessment of India's direction has almost doubled since 2014, says the Pew survey. The prime minister has also faced flak for India's slowing economic growth and for failing to generate jobs needed for the approximately one million youth joining the workforce each month. Approval of his handling of corruption is up 11 points and support for his dealings with terrorism is up 10 points.

BJP supporters have a more positive opinion on the economy than Congress supporters. Indians' support for both the leaders was up in 2013 but came down a few points in 2016.

"BJP supporters have a more positive opinion on the economy than Congress supporters".

"The public is also quite satisfied (79%) with the way their democracy is now working", the survey says. Since taking office as Prime Minister, Modi's administration has focused on reforming and modernising India's infrastructure and government, reducing bureaucracy, encouraging increased foreign direct investment, improving national standards of health and sanitation and improving foreign relations.

But, there are still some notable differences in opinion. "But the gap between BJP and Congress backing, which was 26 points in 2015 and then narrowed to 13 points in 2016, has now widened again to 25 points", the Pew survey notes.

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