The Karnataka election result is in line with the latest Piplsay survey, that reveals Modi and BJP’s losing grip in the southern part of the country.
The high drama surrounding the Karnataka election this year has increased the spotlight on the BJP. Despite being the most popular party, it failed to become a dominant force in the state where caste dynamics is always at play.
Piplsay’s recent pan India survey shows that while the saffron party and its commander’s popularity is slipping in the South, they continue to have a stronghold in North and West India while making significant gains in the East.
For more than half of the people surveyed in North and West India, Modi is the most preferred PM choice for 2019. The Eastern and Southern parts of the country also prefer Modi but quite conservatively
Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and West Bengal were the top five states with maximum respondents. Together these big states constituted more than 50% of the respondent base
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s ratings seem to be plummeting with UP CM Yogi Adityanath getting an edge over the Gandhi Scion up North.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, on the other hand, is making up some lost ground. He is the second most preferred PM candidate after Modi in North, South and Western parts of the country.
Amongst the regional lot, Mamta Banerjee is the only leader who comes closest to being Modi’s competitor with a double-digit support.
That none of the regional leaders managed to make a mark poses a big question on the relevance of regional politics in the country. Are they really at the fag end of their dominance? It is a question that is worth pondering over.
West and South divided over ‘Acche Din’
While the promise of ‘Acche Din’ seems to have worked its charm over most people across all regions, particularly in the North, over 32% people in the South and 29% in West disagreed with it.
South India also seemed unimpressed with the BJP with almost 30% people deciding to not vote for it.
But the overall positive sentiment, as Piplsay found out, has led to BJP emerging as the most popular choice for the 2019 general elections across all four regions
Breaking down the metrics further, Piplsay found that most people across all four regions were happy with Modi’s government’s reforms and policies.
Despite the long agonizing queues and cashless banks and ATM’s, over 60% survey takers across all four regions thought that the twin wars on black money served its purpose, even if partially.
This strong belief surprisingly persists despite claims by several eminent economists and opposition parties, that the country’s economy has taken a hit because of reforms like demonetization, GST etc
The BJP’s stance on Hinduism and Hindu Rashtra is often said as being accompanied by unchecked violence against minority communities. This along with other polarizing issues like cow killings and love jihad have often raised questions on the government’s intent and ways of functioning. Over 90% respondents across all regions pointing out these rising incidents is reflective of that sentiment.
Despite these incidents and negative press, BJP seems to enjoy a comfortable support as is revealed by the Piplsay survey. Already, the party is ruling over 21 states, which is home to almost 3/4th of the country’s population.
Even Brand Modi seems to have prevailed, even if slightly diminished.
Still, BJP cannot breathe easy. The run-up towards 2019 elections is already creating some interesting alignments and friendships. It will be interesting to see how BJP continues to maintain this positive sentiment, especially with the opposition parties coming together to form a united front.
But will this strategy to defeat BJP really work?
Only 2019 elections will tell