A pre-poll survey has found that the airstrike carried out by the Indian Air Force, cash dole for poor farmers and 10 per cent quota for economically weaker section have helped Prime Minister Narendra Modi regain the popularity among the masses.
According to the poll survey conducted by Lokniti, a research programme of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) from March 24 to March 31, 43 per cent of the respondents wanted Narendra Modi to return as prime minister.
Interestingly, this number is seven percentage points higher than during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, which around 36 per cent of the respondents wanted him to lead the country.
The survey suggests that three decisions of the NDA government led by PM Modi, taken between January 7 and February 26, might have the ability to change the course of what could have been a close election.
On January 7, the government announced a 10 per cent job and education quota for "economically weaker" sections, meeting a key demand of upper castes, a staunch BJP support base which has shown signs of a drift from the party.
On February 1, the government announced Rs 6,000 per year cash support to small and marginal farmers that will cost the exchequer Rs 75,000 crore annually, in a bid to provide relief to distressed farm sector.
Under the scheme called Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, Rs 6,000 will be transferred into bank accounts of farmers holding up to 2 hectares of land in three equal instalments.
On February 26, the Indian Force, in a pre-dawn operation, described as “non-military” and “preemptive”, pounded Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest training camp in Pakistan, killing up to 350 terrorists and trainers who were moved there for their protection after the Pulwama attack.
According to the survey, against these three major decisions taken by the Modi government, the Congress party’s allegations over the Rafale fighter jet deal and its assurance of a minimum income guarantee to the poor were found to be not as strong.
Earlier, a tracker poll conducted by Times Now and VMR said that the BJP-led NDA government is likely to get 13 more seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections than what was predicted before the IAF strike on terror camps in Pakistan.
While the poll conducted between February 5 and 21 gave 270 seats to NDA, the recent poll has estimated the tally to rise to 283 seats in the period February 5 to March 12. On the other hand, the tally of Congress-led UPA is likely to come down from the earlier 152 to 135 in the corresponding period.