INDIA TODAY - The most widely read newsweekly in South Asia.
CURRENT ISSUE JANUARY 30, 2006
NATION: Mood of the Nation Poll STATES
It is Still Modi
The Gujarat chief minister has turned on its head an accepted dictum of democracy-a government's popularity dips as the months roll on
If newspaper headlines are any indication, Narendra Modi is the man every-one loves to hate. The results of this poll point to a reality that is somewhat different. For the second time in succession, Modi has got the highest number of votes in the INDIA TODAY Mood of the Nation Poll. Astonishingly, Modi has upset an accepted dictum of democracy-that the popularity of incumbent governments suffers setbacks as they get on with the difficult task of governance. While in the previous poll conducted in August 2005, 75 per cent of the people of Gujarat had voted in his favour, five months down the line the number has crossed 80 per cent. This is surprising considering that almost all other chief ministers have seen their ratings dip in their own states. Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, who drew 63 per cent of votes in West Bengal last time, saw his tally drop by 10 percentage points while Tamil Nadu's J. Jayalalithaa, too, suffered a similar drop in her ratings. Such significant decline in popularity, just months before they lead their parties to the Assembly elections must indeed be cause for alarm for the two chief ministers. No such worries for Bihar's Nitish Kumar. Less than two months in office and he has already climbed to the No. 3 slot. Watch out, Modi!
-By Ashok Damodaran
WHO IS THE BEST CHIEF MINISTER? NARENDRA MODI 1 (1) Vilasrao Deshmukh 2 (3) 3 Nitish Kumar* 4 Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy (5) 5 J. Jayalalithaa (2) 6 Buddhadeb Bhattacharya (4) 7 Vasundhara Raje 8 Mulayam Singh Yadav (6) 9 Amarinder Singh 10 Dharam Singh
Figures in brackets indicate ranking in August 2005 * Nitish became chief minister in November 2005
WILL BIHAR GET BETTER OR WORSE UNDER NITISH REGIME? BETTER 37 Become worse 7 Remain same 13
All figures in per cent. Rest: Don't know/Can't say
15% DELHI VOTERS FEEL THAT MODI IS A BETTER CHIEF MINISTER THAN DIKSHIT.