Nagpur/New Delhi: The NaMo aka Narendra Modi mantra appears to be echoing out in Maharashtra! Atleast an internal study by BJP shows the trends matching these sentiments. As per the document put up in the BJP’s executive committee meeting in Nashik, Maharashtra Chief Minister is going high on popularity meter in the state but at the cost of PM’s fame.
The document is prepared by the BJP’s special war room headed by state unit spokesperson Shweta Shalini. It compares Modi’s current approval ratings with that of a similar survey carried out in 2013-14, the national election year when Modimania was at its peak. While in the 2013-14 study, 40 per cent of the people surveyed had said they were impressed by Modi’s performance, this year the number has dropped to 25 per cent.
Though Fadnavis did not feature in the 2013-14 survey, the latest survey puts him neck and neck with Modi in the popularity stakes, with his approval ratings same as the prime minister’s at 25 per cent.
The document, obviously, has been received with some unease in the party as not a single leader was on Tuesday willing to go on record commenting on its contents. Party spokesman Madhu Chavan refused to comment on the document saying it was “an internal matter of the party”.
A text response received from the chief minister said the exercise cannot be called a survey. “That’s not a survey…it’s [an] illustrative representation about how trends differ in [the] Lok Sabha and local elections. I think taking it as a survey will be taking it out of context.”
Shalini, herself, defended the survey saying it does not indicate that the chief minister is now as popular as Modi. “What it does say is that the 25 per cent people who approved of the prime minister’s work also liked what the chief minister has done at the state level,” she said.
The survey has also revealed that while 45 per cent of party’s workers were active during 2013-14 elections, the number is currently down to just 15 per cent. This should not come as a surprise to anyone as election season mobilisation of political workers is always high.
The real good new in the survey for the party is that more people want to associate with it now than when it was in the opposition. While it could be the pull of power, the party believes it is also because of people-friendly initiatives of the new government and its own robust outreach programmes.
While only 15 per cent of the people surveyed in 2013-14 had shown inclination to associate with the party, the number has risen to 25 per cent in 2016.
A senior leader privy to the war room document said the findings on the prime minister the chief minister’s popularity are just one part of the document. “The worrying part is the responsibilities the war room has assigned itself. The document says that war room will now be involved in everything – from preparation of electoral roles, to booth management, to media coordination, to organising agitations, to keeping a watch on activities of rival parties. “This, in one fell swoop, destroys the traditional party structures built over the years. If this is all the war room’s responsibility, what will party leaders not part of this elite crisis centre do?” he asked.
(Inputs from ToI)