Nation reposes faith in Modi
by Hari Om on 28 Jan 2013 25 Comments

The Indian nation is in the mood for radical change. It wants the unpopular and insensitive Congress-led UPA Government that has been in office since May 2004 to go lock, stock and barrel. It also has no faith in the Left parties like the CPI and the CPI-M. The nation also doesn’t like parties like the SP, the BSP, the RJD, the LJP, the NCP and similar other “secular” outfits. Significantly, the nation also has lost its faith in leaders like Arvind Kejriwal and his newly-founded Aam Admi Party (AAP).


However, the nation has reposed full faith in senior BJP leader and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra bhai Modi. It wants him, the BJP and the NDA – in that order – to rescue it from the misrule of the Congress and the UPA coalition. In fact, it wants Modi to become Prime Minister at the earliest so that it can heave a sigh of relief and land in safe hands. This much is clearly indicated by the latest survey conducted by ABP News-Neilson.


ABP News-Neilson conducted their survey in 28 major cities and towns, including Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Lucknow between January 10 and 17 (soon after the Gujarat elections) and ascertained the views of around 9,000 citizens. The aim was to assess the national mood and see where the BJP-NDA, the Congress-UPA, Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, JDU leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, to mention only a few, stand in public perception. The survey found Modi, the BJP and the NDA far ahead and well placed, with Rahul Gandhi, the Congress and the UPA nowhere in the reckoning. And Modi overshadowed everyone in his own party and the Congress party.


When asked their choice for the prime ministerial candidate as far as the BJP was concerned, a whopping 57 per cent of those interviewed voted for Narendra Modi. There was simply no other leader in the BJP who could match Modi’s popularity. When asked their choice for the same position as far as the Congress was concerned, only 39 per cent of the interviewees batted for Rahul Gandhi. In other words, while there was no leader in the Congress party who could compete with Rahul Gandhi, the latter himself was miles behind Narendra bhai.


The reasons are obvious. When asked if they would vote for Modi if he is a prime ministerial candidate, as many as 48 per cent affirmed they would vote for Modi. Only 18 per cent batted for Rahul Gandhi. Indeed, a huge, huge difference.


As for Sonia Gandhi, only 6 per cent voted for Sonia Gandhi, the lady whom many Congress leaders (read sycophants) across the country describe as “Bharat Mata” and a great inspiration (to them). Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar netted only two per cent votes. In other words, this bitter critic of Narendra Modi was rejected outright by the people. This should prompt him to his attitude towards his Gujarati counterpart.


When asked to choose a prime ministerial candidate between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, 49 per cent interviewees voted for Modi and 19 per cent for Rahul-Congress. And when asked about their choice between the BJP-led NDA, the Congress-led UPA, the Left parties and other political outfits, 39 per cent voted for the BJP-led NDA, 22 per cent for the Congress-led UPA, 3 per cent for the Left parties and 17 per cent for other parties, including the BSP, the SP, the RJD, the LJP, the TMC, the BJD, the TDP, the AIADMK, and so on.


The survey shows that Narendra Modi will be the nation’s choice if elections are held today. He may minimum 49 per cent of the total votes polled; Rahul-Congress is not likely to secure more than 19 per cent votes. The difference is nearly 30 per cent – a gap that just cannot be bridged.


In other words, the survey shows that the Congress party, which has ruled the country for most of the period after 1947, has lost its sheen and appeal, its credibility and the people’s confidence. It also shows that there is no leader left in the Congress party who can help the party retrieve the lost political space. It is hardly necessary to catalogue here the reasons which have brought the Congress party to such a pass. Suffice it to say that its socio-economic and politico-administrative policies as well as its foreign policy and its failure to secure the internal situation in the country have driven the people away. It is extremely unlikely that it will change its style of functioning and reform the rotten system.      


On the other hand, the survey shows that the BJP, which had over this same period also become unpopular because of its failure to play the role of an effective and responsible opposition, has finally got in the person of Narendra Modi a leader whose leadership and administrative qualities and skills are appreciated across the nation, notwithstanding the no-holds-barred negative propaganda unleashed against him by the so-called secular forces in the country. An overwhelming majority in India has come to believe that Modi alone can stem the rot, lead the country aright, help India attain a status in the comity of nations and mitigate the hardships of the suffering nation. Whatever be the situation, one thing appears quite clear: Narendra Modi has surpassed all leaders and parties to emerge as a great national leader with the majority of population longing to anoint him as Prime Minister sooner rather than later.         


The author is former Chair Professor, Maharaja Gulab Singh Chair, University of Jammu, Jammu, & former member Indian Council of Historical Research

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