Even as India gears up for the soon-to-be-held parliamentary elections, a ‘National Trust Survey’ conducted by Firstpost-IPSOS has revealed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the preferred choice as Prime Minister in 2019 across India, especially in the northern states. Modi was preferred as next PM by 53% while Congress President Rahul Gandhi scored a distant 26.9%.
However, in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Rahul Gandhi is the preferred choice for the country’s top job. 14% of those who polled in AP, 19.4% of those polled in Kerala and 10.6 of those polled in Tamil Nadu preferred Modi be re-elected for a second term in office while the rest wanted Rahul Gandhi as PM (68.8% in AP, 62.6% in Kerala and 69.7% in Tamil Nadu). In a significant departure from its neighbouring states, 68.7% of those polled in Telangana wanted Modi as PM while only 15.2% preferred Rahul Gandhi for the job. This was in sharp contrast to states like Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, more than 65% preferred Modi as future PM, in Gujarat 75% wanted Modi back.
The survey, published in the inaugural edition of the Firstpost newspaper, shows that trust is greater in regional parties in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana as well as Odisha and West Bengal.
According to the media house, the survey polled 34,470 individuals from 291 urban wards and 690 villages across 320 parliamentary constituencies in 23 states. The questions focussed on trust in institutions, priorities ahead of the 2019 elections and political prowess of various parties. While the survey revealed that family, friends and religious place occupy the first three rungs of trust, when it comes to public institutions, the Prime Minister's office(75%), fared better as a trustworthy institution that the Supreme Court(73%) and Parliament(72%).
When asked about trust in national leaders like Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, the response was in favour of the latter in three southern states- Andhra Pradesh (41% for Modi, 64% for Rahul Gandhi), Kerala(37% for Modi, 63% for Rahul Gandhi) and Tamil Nadu(25% for Modi and 60% for Rahul Gandhi). In Karnataka and Telangana, however, 60% had more trust in Modi than Rahul Gandhi(49% and 43% respectively).
Further, the survey said that the prime reason for voters remaining strongly disposed towards BJP Led Alliance/NDA was the promise of economic development. “The second most popular reason, with 37% vote, is wanting to see Narendra Modi as PM. Those supporting INC have identified performance of previous INC Government as key reason. While 43% strongly agree with the corruption allegations made by the Congress that accuse the PM on the Rafale Deal, 74.3% said they will pledge support if Government brings in ordinance in favor of building Ram Temple in Ayodhya,” said the survey.