PrimeMinister Narendra Modi accepts salute after presenting medal at the CISFs 50thRaising Day, in Ghaziabad PTI

Six Charts Explain How Balakot Strikes Helped Boost Modi’s Popularity

The attack on CRPF jawans in Pulwama and the strikes on terror camps in Balakot, Pakistan that followed have turned national security into a key election issue.

Common wisdom has been that India’s anti-terror strikes in Pakistan will impact the upcoming general elections. A recent opinion poll by C-Voter details how large that impact may have been in the 10 weeks from Jan. 1 to March 7.

Net Approval Rating Of NDA Rises

Six Charts Explain How Balakot Strikes Helped Boost Modi’s Popularity

The net approval rating for the Narendra Modi-led government that stood at 32 percent in the beginning of the year rose to 62 percent by March 7. While there was a marginal improvement in approval ratings after the budget, the big uptick came after the Balakot strikes. A similar trend is noticed in the approval ratings for Modi .

Satisfaction With Modi Jumps

Six Charts Explain How Balakot Strikes Helped Boost Modi’s Popularity

Rahul’s Approval Ratings Drop

Congress President Rahul Gandhi seems to have lost the momentum gained after wins in three Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. His drop in popularity from 23 percent the start of the year to 8 percent by the first week of March is consistent with Modi’s rise, according to C-Voter’s ‘State of the Nation’ poll.

Six Charts Explain How Balakot Strikes Helped Boost Modi’s Popularity

Not Just Balakot Strike, Budget Helped Too

Budget in February helped improve the way voters perceive the incumbent government. While those who believed their standard of living had improved jumped up from nearly 6 percent to 23 percent, net optimism about India improved from about 15 percent to nearly 41 percent. This is despite no significant possibility of change in standards of living in just 10 weeks. Yashwant Deshmukh, managing direct at C-Voter, puts it down to sops for farmers and the middle class in the budget.

There was something for everyone (in the budget). All of a sudden the economic despair was gone and economic optimism went up big time.
Yashwant Deshmukh, MD and Chief Editor, C-Voter
Six Charts Explain How Balakot Strikes Helped Boost Modi’s Popularity

Also read: NDA To Fall Short Of Majority, Congress To Double Its Tally: CVoter Pre-Poll Survey

National Security Becomes Most-Important Problem

The most telling data point from the C-Voter survey is the question on most important problems facing that respondent face. While 28.5 percent said unemployment was the biggest problem on Jan. 1, the number dropped marginally to 21.8 percent by March 7. But national security, which was chosen as a key issue by just 4 percent jumped to 26 percent, becoming the biggest issue.

Six Charts Explain How Balakot Strikes Helped Boost Modi’s Popularity

Modi Widens Gap After Pulwama, Balakot

While Modi was the frontrunner even before the Balakot strikes, the Prime Minister has widened the gap after the Pulwama attacks and the strikes by the Indian Air Force that followed with a jump in popularity from 47 percent to 62 percent.

Six Charts Explain How Balakot Strikes Helped Boost Modi’s Popularity

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