NEW DELHI: With the 2019 Lok Sabha elections just a few months away, Brand Modi appears strong and is gaining more traction though his party and the various schemes promoted by the Centre may not have a similar runaway popular endorsement, according to an internal BJP survey.
The four-month long survey in the Capital with a sample size of 34,000 found Prime Minister Narendra Modi has admirers over and above the BJP’s traditional voter base. However, the BJP appears far from the over 50% support base target set by party chief Amit Shah (average 37%).
The survey revealed Modi has 63% approval rating as the prime ministerial candidate in 2019 as against 59% in 2014. Conducted between July and October last, it found that while half of the respondents listed prime ministerial candidate as the decisive factor for their voting preference, only a quarter of them said that they would vote on party lines.
“The radio programme Mann ki Baat and interactions with the people, including beneficiaries of the Central schemes appear to have helped prime minister carve out a personal constituency, which towers over the BJP. His regular interactions in which he raises social issues appear to be bringing new support bases, which add to the core support base of the BJP,” said the head of the BJP affiliate, which conducted the survey.
That demonetisation and the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) didn’t work for the party came out starkly as 48% called them ‘bad’ as against 29% opting for the ‘good’ option.
While garbage collection, which is at the core of Modi’s Swachh Bharat campaign got a thumbs down, a host of Central schemes, including Jeevan Jyoti Bima, Ujawa (free LED bulbs), slashing of cost of stents and knee replacement found positive ratings.
Even the flagship Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojna got only 45% endorsement, while Ujwala was liked by 53%.
One of the factors working in Modi’s favour is “India’s rising stature on the international stage”, with 65% approving his initiatives.