National security takes over jobs as key concern, PM Modi’s popularity on the rise after Pulwama: Survey

National security has taken over issues such as unemployment as one of the major concern areas for the people after the air strike on terror camps in Pakistan, according to the CVOTER-IANS opinion tracker.

Unemployment was the number one issue on the mood of the people tracker at the start of year with 29 per cent respondents calling it the prime concern. But as on March 7, the concern is reduced to 22 per cent.

Reverse is true for national security which was seen as a non-issue in the first week of January with only 2.6 per cent listing it as a major issue.

The situation has totally changed after the Pulwama attack and the Balakot strike with 26 per cent now claiming it to be the primary issue.

“In today’s India we have seen perhaps for the first time security issue competing and outdoing a bread-and-butter issue such as unemployment,” said psephologist Yashwant Deshmukh, adding the current atmospherics go in favour of Prime Minister Modi.

PM Modi’s popularity rising

The popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the satisfaction level of the people with his government soared while Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s rise on rating chart crashed after the aerial strike on terror camps in Pakistan, according to the findings of the opinion poll.

Fifty-one per cent of the respondents interviewed on March 7 said they were very satisfied with the working of the Central government compared to 36 per cent on January 1. The net approval rating (which calculates the number of approvers minus the disapprovers) has risen to an all-time high of 62 per cent on March 7, almost doubling from 32 per cent at the start of the year.

Psephologist Yashwant Deshmukh of CVOTER explained the trend, saying that two significant events took place between January 1 and March 7. The first was the Union budget and the second being post-Pulwama Balakot air strikes.

“Post-Budget we observed only a marginal twitch in the needle with respect to net approval ratings, therefore, one may conclude that Budget doles were not gaining support for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA),” he said, adding the decisive rising trend was seen after the Pulwama attack and it got further consolidated post-Balakot air strikes.

The approval rating of the Prime Minister matched the satisfaction level with his government. His net approval ratings have risen sharply in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack.

The decisive response by the Prime Minister to the Pulwama attack was in stark contrast to Manmohan Singh’s inaction after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

“Simply put, security is on the area where PM Modi has outdone UPA-I and II decisively. Even if some commentators and media sources are questioning the efficacy of raids, it cannot be denied that PM Modi is first PM after Indira Gandhi to order an attack on sovereign Pakistan soil,” he said.

In stark contrast, Congress president Rahul Gandhi started the year on a high with the net approval rating of 23 per cent. But after Pulwama and the aerial strikes, his approval rating dropped sharply to 8 per cent.

“The probable reason could be that security as an issue is post-2004 Congress’s Achilles heel. The record of post-2004 Congress against terror and Pakistan is one of the most uninspiring of post-independence governments, perhaps matched only by the one year I.K. Gujral administration of United Front,” said Deshmukh.