Let us go back to the historical moment four years ago when Narendra Modi reached the Parliament House to swear-in as the 15th Prime Minister of India on May 26, 2014. Indian citizens have had some unwavering faith on their prime minister for the past four years and why not, as he has brought some unprecedented changes for the development of the nation. However, less than a year before the next general elections in the country, that faith of the citizens on their PM Modi seems to have trembled.
According to media reports, PM Modi’s popularity took a dip from 65 per cent in January 2017 to 53 per cent in January 2018. Incidentally, for the first time during his office, his popularity went down below 50 percent to 48 percent in July 2018.
In what appeared to be a warning signal for the Modi government for the upcoming general elections in 2019, popular television channels have conducted opinion polls and the result was quite surprising. According to India Today’s Mood of the Nation survey, it appeared that nearly half of the Indian voters do not approve in giving the PM Modi another shot in power.
In the general elections 2014, Narendra Modi was voted into power due to rise in the nationalist sentiments and his rhetoric to the Indian citizens. BJP secured 31 percent of the total votes, winning 282 seats, making it the biggest win in the last three decades. His badass tone while addressing the masses has not only startled his political opponents but also won him sections of followers.
But it is true to say that PM Modi’s big win in the last elections was partly due to the hatred among the voters for his rivals including India’s grand old Congress Party and the newly formed AAP. Now that less than a year is left for the new government to come into power, it is right to say that there can be times when governments may become unpopular among the masses due to their ineffective policies for the betterment of the people. Unfortunately, we never assumed this could happen to the Modi government.
It seems like the Indian government, under the man who has set agendas, is out of control and lost its grip over the political narrative of the country. There have been crises over the period of time which is making the government look worse than ever before. Unexpectedly, the negative headlines have adversely affected the political appeal of the Modi government in one way or the other.
Take a look at what has hurt the govt:
Seemingly, Narendra Modi vowed many effective changes in the Indian social and economic atmosphere prior to the elections in 2014. From eliminating corruption to improving the GDP, there were many policies promised with the new government. Supposedly, he kick-started the infamous campaign ‘Achche Din’ (Good Days) in order to improve the growth of the country. But many economists and analysts pointed out the irony in the ‘Achche Din’ saying that there wasn’t much difference.
Modi took one of the biggest risks in his political career in November 2016 when he scrapped the high-value banknotes as a measure to curb corruption. However, the impact of demonetization impacted the GDP and it fell to 5.7 percent in the next year. While the political pundits presumed that it was this step that led to the BJP’s win in UP elections, but the truth was totally opposite. While demonetization failed to save any black money, people had to vote for the BJP government despite the enormous failure of demonetization.
Good and Services Tax (GST)
In the name of the indirect tax levied by the government on the supply of goods and services, GST has been introduced in the country. Ever since its introduction, GST slowed down the business activities and put a break on the job creation. However, according to govt reports, GST led to a substantial decrease in inflation with the reduction in cascading effects of taxes and prices. Furthermore, GST boosted govt’s Make In India initiative by providing protection to the domestic industry.
In terms of foreign policy, PM Modi’s critics have described his policy as an inward-looking in which he seems to be selling India to the Indians and not to the world. On such highlight is that despite him having cordial relations with the US President, India has been facing hardships with the US in terms of exports and visa formalities. Unfortunately, PM Modi’s ‘strategic’ foreign policy has also alienated the allies including Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Mauritius.