The Wuhan virus pandemic was always going to be a test of nerves of the world leaders around and therefore it does not come as a surprise that amidst the cacophony of chatter from the opposition and detractors of Prime Minister Narendra Modi alike, he has emerged as the most popular leader amidst the ongoing pandemic owing to his government’s swift and effective response.
A Times Now and ORMAX Media survey found that PM Narendra Modi’s popularity increased from 7.1% to 7.9% between April 2019 and May 2020.
The excellent handling of the Coronavirus pandemic in a country with a population of 1.3 billion is no mean feat. Add to it the momentous decisions PM Modi and his government has taken in the first year of his second term. From the abrogation of article 370 to triple talaq to the Ram Mandir verdict, the Modi juggernaut has been unstoppable.
The Times Now survey comes at the heel of a US-based pollster Morning Consult’s survey. PM Modi had stamped his authority in Morning Consult’s survey too. According to the released approval ratings, Modi’s net approval rating went up from 62 to 68—compared to the beginning of the year. He beat world leaders like Donald Trump, Shinzo Abe, and Boris Johnson rather handsomely.
While Modi builds on his popularity through his efficient working style, the survey also revealed the slogger-politicians of the country. Languishing at the bottom of the list is West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee who has made an absolute mess in the handling of the Coronavirus pandemic in the state.
As per the survey, only 6 percent of the people of Kolkata approved of her management of the Coronavirus crisis. West Bengal government not only under-reported the number of cases in the state but also was in a constant tussle with the central government throughout the crisis instead of cooperation.
On Monday when PM Modi addressed the state CM’s for potential ways to go about Lockdown 4.0, Mamata Banerjee was seen singing her own tune. While every other CM was giving their inputs about how states should strategize, Didi on the other hand was more interested in setting the record straight and involved in blame game.
The eastern state of West Bengal would go for assembly election in 2021 and given the fact that the approval rating of Mamata Banerjee is in single-digit (6%), she is poised to lose her foothold in the state unless she pulls a bunny out of the hat which seems very unlikely.
BJP won 18 seats and around one-third of the popular votes in the 2019 general election thanks to the exceptional performance in rural constituencies of the Western part of the state. As Mamata Banerjee loses in the Eastern part of the state and urban constituencies like Kolkata from several seats, her defeat in the next assembly election is all but given.
The neighboring state of Bihar and its CM Nitish Kumar has also been abysmal in the handling of the pandemic. The way he distanced himself from the plight of migrant workers of his own state has left everyone perplexed.
The ‘Sushasan Babu’ and his apathy for migrant workers coupled with the rising cases of Coronavirus and a total breakdown of bureaucracy machinery in the state is paving the way for a disaster in assembly election that is scheduled to be held in the second half of the year.
The media, opposition, allies, all are slamming Nitish Kumar alike over his inactiveness in dealing with Coronavirus crisis, but Kumar is nowhere to be seen.
On one hand, Yogi Adityanath has made all-out efforts to bring every possible relief to migrant laborers not just of UP but of other states like Bihar and Jharkhand too, while on the other hand, Nitish Kumar has not made a single visit to relief camps so far.
“When Yogi Adityanath has sent buses to bring laborers from the Delhi border and Yediyurappa provided concessions of five to six hours for migrant workers to leave Bengaluru, Nitish dumped Bihari workers at a critical time,” said former RJD MP Jai Prakash Yadav.
As of May 14, the total number of cases in the state is pegged to reach 1,000 with 388 deaths registered.
While BJP and JDU are allies in the state—as we have reported in TFI time and again, BJP should let go of Nitish. He is the dead weight that is holding the fortunes of BJP down. His defeatist slogans like ‘Kyo kare vichar, thike to hai Nitish Kumar’, will do more harm to BJP than good.
The coronavirus pandemic is another eye-opener for BJP that Nitish Kumar has lost the hunger for electoral politics. The leader with around one and a half decades of experience as CM looks like he is simply going through the motions. His body-language looks jaded and when you need optimism and all hands on the wheel in times of a crisis, he is doing the polar opposite. Both Mamata Banerjee and Nitish Kumar’s failures have set the stage for BJP to make clean sweeps during the assembly elections in West Bengal and Bihar.