Who do you think is the best Prime Minister of India? Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Indira Gandhi? No. For the people of the country, it is current Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has won their hearts. According to the Mood of the Nation survey conducted by India Today, Modi has emerged as the best prime minister of all time, garnering 26 per cent of the votes. Just six votes behind is three-time Congress PM Indira Gandhi, and BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away last week, was voted as the third best prime minister.
Vajpayee received 12 per cent of the votes in the survey, in which 12,100 people participated, ahead of Jawaharlal Nehru, who got only 10 per cent of the votes. JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda, who was the 11th PM of India, and PV Narasimha Rao were the least favored prime minister. In all, four former prime ministers received just one per cent vote each — Deve Gowda, Rao, Narasimha Chandrasekhar and VP Singh.
Across the religious divide, while Modi emerged as the favoured PM among Hindu voters, the Muslim community voted Indira Gandhi as their first choice leader. A total of 28 per cent Hindu voters backed Modi, while only 11 per cent Muslims voted for the BJP leader as PM. Gandhi was favoured by 26 per cent of Muslim voters.
Of the four broad regions in the country, Modi has been voted the most favoured PM in North and East India and is the joint first choice leader with Indira Gandhi in West India. However, Modi trails by three per cent in South India to Indira Gandhi, who received 26 per cent of the votes.
In a separate MOTN survey, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi received 46 per cent vote in response to a question about the best alternative to Modi as prime minister in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Rahul Gandhi is followed by West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, who secured a distant 8 per cent vote.
An earlier survey conducted by India Today-Karvy Insights shows that the BJP, which won the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 with a majority on its own, would fall short of the magic number if elections were conducted today. The survey reveals the NDA will manage to win only 281 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha, while the Congress, along with its present allies, will secure only 122 seats.