Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s approval ratings have fallen to a new low, two surveys have shown, as the country struggles to contain a devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Modi, who came to power in 2014 and was re-elected in 2019 with the vast majority of all Indian politicians in three decades, has long promoted the image of a powerful nationalist leader.
But the number of COVID-19 cases in India topped 25 million this week, revealing a lack of preparedness and eroding Modi’s support base, according to the follow-up of a dozen world executives from the US intelligence firm. Morning Consult data.
Modi’s overall ratings this week are 63%, its lowest since the US firm began tracking its popularity in August 2019. The sharp drop came in April when its net approval fell 22 points.
Another survey by India’s CVOTER polling agency found that the number of respondents “very satisfied” with Modi’s performance fell to 37% from around 65% a year ago.
For the first time in seven years, respondents who expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of the Modi government outnumbered those who are satisfied, according to CVOTER data.
“The prime minister faces the biggest political challenge of his career,” CVOTER founder Yashwant Deshmukh told Reuters.
The sharp drop in popularity comes as the pandemic appears to overwhelm major urban centers such as Delhi, where hospitals are running out of beds and life-saving oxygen. Bodies have piled up in morgues and crematoriums and anger has grown on social media over the suffering and perceived lack of support from the government.
The situation has since improved in Delhi and Mumbai as cases have dropped, but the virus has penetrated deep into the vast Indian hinterland where public health facilities are weaker.
“The Indian people – or at least the vast majority – have … come to the conclusion that they should only rely on themselves, as well as on their family and friends, to protect their lives,” said Fr Chidambaram. , a leader of the opposition. .
“In the battle against COVID-19, the state, especially the central government, has collapsed,” he said.
Modi’s government has said it is doing its best to tackle the “coronavirus storm,” calling it the one-time crisis in a century.
Despite his declining approval ratings, Modi remains the country’s most popular politician, with the opposition unable to capitalize on the government’s failed response to the pandemic, CVOTER data shows.
Modi will not face any national elections until 2024.
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