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Rahul most popular choice as next PM: Poll

Last updated on: August 8, 2011 14:32 IST

34 pc feel Rahul should become PM right away

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The findings of the CNN-IBN & CNBC-TV18 'State of the Nation Poll', conducted by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi reflects the popular mood of a number of issues such as the popularity of political leaders, the economy, corruption and terrorism. The results of the poll on the theme 'Personalities and Leadership' show that Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi is the preferred choice as prime minister.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's popularity has taken a plunge and since 1999 to 2011, Congress President Sonia Gandhi's ratings too have continued to fall steadily. Here's India's verdict on our leaders and their credibility.

Nineteen per cent of the 39,000 people surveyed across the country, feel that Rahul Gandhi is the most suitable choice for prime minister. His ratings have jumped three-folds from a mere six per cent in 2009 and has overtaken that of Dr Singh and Sonia Gandhi, for the first time.

Clearly, he is a favourite but he's still far behind his mother's rating in 2004 (26 per cent).

Thirty four per cent of the respondents want Rahul to become the PM right away, while 25 per cent feel is not yet ready for the job. Only 10 per cent believe he is not a suitable for the post.

In 2006, 34 per cent has said he was not ready to take over as PM and should wait.

As a prime ministerial choice, Rahul is way ahead of other United Progessive Alliance leaders. With 42 per cent of respondents backing his candidature, Finance Minister Pranab Mukkherjee is a distant second with seven per cent.


Image: Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi

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PM is no longer Mr Clean

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In the wake of the 2G scam and Commonwealth Games scams, Dr Singh's image as an honest PM has taken a beating. While his popularity grew gradually from 2004 where only one per cent of the population approved of him as PM to 18 per cent in 2009, this trend has reversed. His approval rating this year (10 per cent) is most adverse than it has been in the past seven years.

Satisfaction with the PM's performance has taken a plunge since he started his second term in 2009. From the 56 per cent that were satisfied with him in 2006 it rose to 70 per cent in 2009. Since then percentage has fallen to 56 per cent in 2011.

Two years ago, for every dissatisfied person there were four satisfied with the PM's performance. Today, there are only two.

Dr Singh does not retain the clean image he once enjoyed. Among those questioned about his credibility, 29 per cent think of him as an honest man who did his best to curb corruption. A mere nine per cent are convinced that he's corrupt, while 31 per cent opine that he may be honest but has nothing to stop corruption.

Thirty three per cent feel that Dr Singh should be replaced as the PM, while 22 per cent feel that he should stay. Sixteen per cent of the population feels that replacing the PM will make no difference to the nation.


Image: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh

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59 pc unaware of Rahul's padyatra

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Rahul is rated highly when it comes to maturity, trustworthiness and his concern for the poor and farmers. Fifty four per cent of the respondents feel that he is a trustworthy leader who has genuine concern for the poor and farmers. On the count of maturity too his image is favourble (41 per cent).

While a large number of respondents have heard of the Congress general secretary (73 per cent) and know who he is (66 per cent), awareness about his work is low. Fifty nine per cent were clueless of his much-publicised padyatra across Uttar Pradesh, 70 per cent about his visit to Bhatta Parsul.

Image: Rahul Gandhi during is padyatra in UP

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Modi best choice to succeed Advani

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Clearly the UPA has lost its credibility, but this in no way has worked in favour of the Opposition. From the Bharatiya Janata Party, LK Advani's support has declined drastically. While 15 per cent backed him for the post of PM in 2009, today he has support from only four per cent of those questioned.

In the absence of Advani, respondents felt that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is BJP's best choice for the PM's post.

Within the BJP fold, Modi topped the list with 19 per cent followed by Sushma Swaraj (18 per cent). Interestingly, only four per cent wanted BJP President Nitin Gadkari to succeed Adavani.

(The findings present here are based on a survey conducted in 19 states by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi. A total of 39,000 randomly selected persons were approached for interviews of which 20,268 were successfully completed.)      

Image: Gujarat CM Narendra Modi

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