An online survey conducted by an advocacy group run by political strategist Prashant Kishor has found that most of the Indians feel Prime Minister Narendra Modi can take the ‘agenda of the nation’ forward better than other leaders. The survey was conducted by Indian Political Action Committee (I-Pac) of Kishor who had successfully designed the BJP’s strategies for the Lok Sabha polls in 2014. According to information made available on I-Pac’s National Agenda Forum that was launched by Kishor to choose a leader for 2019 general elections, nearly 48% of approximately 58 lakh respondents voted in favour of the incumbent Prime Minister from 712 districts in 55 days.
A total of 923 leaders were nominated by the National Agenda Forum for the participants to choose from. While PM Modi topped the list, Congress president Rahul Gandhi came second with just 11% vote. The Congress leader was closely followed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal with 9.3 % votes.
Samajwadi Party national president and former Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav secured the fourth spot in the survey with 7% votes. He was followed by TMC supremo and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerji and BSP supremo Mayawati who got 4.2% and 3.1% votes, respectively.
The other leaders who were nominated by the National Agenda Forum were Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and several other national and regional leaders.
According to the survey, participants cited women empowerment, farmers woes, economic inequality, students’ problems, basic education, health, sanitation among the issues that are of top priority for the country.
Kishor had gained national attention during the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 when he had successfully designed and implemented strategies for the BJP that saw the saffron party returning to power with a thumping majority after a gap of 10 years.
A year later, in 2015, Kishor had worked closely for Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar in the assembly polls and delivered the result. In 2017, he had strategised the role for Congress party in Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls but couldn’t deliver good results for the party.
Notably, the latest survey conducted by I-Pac just a few months before the general elections is similar to the 2013 survey of Kishor-mentored ‘Citizens for Accountable Governance’. At that time also, Narendra Modi was named the most ‘favoured leader’ in the country.