Ineffective handling of the second wave of the Covid pandemic is the primary driver for drop in citizen rating of the Narendra Modi government, as per a LocalCircles survey.
There is a steady decline in citizen performance ratings across many parameters. At its two-year mark, 51 per cent citizens surveyed rate Modi government 2.0 as meeting expectations, a 24 per cent drop in ratings in two years, which is concerning, LocalCircles said.
The government, which looked to be in a strong position even till late February, is now perceived as faltering by a section of the citizenry, the survey said.
The LocalCircles survey received over 169,000 responses from more than 70,000 citizens residing in 280 districts of India. As many as 69 per cent of the participants were men, while 31 per cent were women.
This year, 51 per cent citizens said that the government has either met or exceeded their expectations in the last two years. Around 21 per cent citizens said the government has exceeded their expectations while 30 per cent said the government met their expectations.
A similar survey by LocalCircles was conducted in 2020 to know the citizens’ pulse on the performance of the Modi government after the first year of its second term.
In that survey, 62 per cent citizens rated it as either meeting or exceeding their expectations. This means, in the seocnd year of its second term, citizens who rated Modi government 2.0 as meeting or exceeding expectations declined by 11 per cent.
Similarly in 2019, the percentage of citizens who had rated Modi government as meeting or exceeding expectations was 75 per cent, thereby marking a fall of 24 per cent in the two-year period, the survey said.
Only 19 per cent of citizens in the LocalCircles poll said that prices of essential commodities and cost of living have reduced in the last two years.
Eliminating corruption was an important part of the Modi government’s election manifesto, both in 2014 and 2019. Although many steps have been taken by the government to fight corruption, only 39 per cent citizens believe that corruption in India has reduced in the last two years.
When citizens were asked about the development, procurement, distribution, appointments, roll-out and administration of Covid-19 vaccine, only 55 per cent citizens believed that the government had handled it well.
When the citizens were asked how they felt India handled the second wave of the pandemic, 32 per cent said the government handled the situation quite poorly, while 18 per cent said the handling was not effective.
A total of 66 per cent citizens believe that the government has effectively handled the economic recovery post the first wave of the pandemic.
“However, wrong priorities, lack of preparedness, and indecisiveness led to significant damages in the Covid second wave which dented the confidence of a section of the population in the government,” the survey said.
“The need of the hour is for the government to admit the mistakes, course correct and swiftly move to contain the spread of Covid, accelerate vaccination and chart an economic recovery plan better than the one of 2020,” it added.
On the parameter of handling the Parliament, only 61 per cent citizens felt the government has been able to effectively handle the Parliament and deliver on the key bills in the last two years.
When it came to India’s influence in the world, the rating declined to 59 per cent this year, but the approval ratings continue to be high on the backdrop of India’s effort to provide vaccines to many countries, the survey said.
When asked if doing business in India has been easier in the last two years, 41 per cent said ‘yes’ and 42 per cent said ‘no’. As many as 17 per cent were unsure.
Several reforms were introduced by the government in the last two years to eliminate human interfaces with electronic interfaces such that the room for harassment by tax officials is minimised. As many as 57 per cent citizens in the survey expressed their confidence that harassment by tax officials has reduced in the last two years.
In the LocalCircles’ survey, only 27 per cent citizens said the government has been able to address the unemployment situation in the last two years, while 61 per cent answered ‘no’.