Why PM Modi defies trends to remain most popular global leader

Why PM Modi defies trends to remain most popular global leader

US data firm finds Indian PM’s net approval rating highest among world leaders – and here are the reasons behind it.

From steering the country through a pandemic the scale of which few generations have ever seen before, to protecting the economy from the catastrophic impact of the virus, to rushing emergency aid to affected countries and taking the lead in developing and manufacturing vaccines, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a rather hectic 2020.

And that too against the backdrop of his concerted efforts to ‘Make in India’ and making India self-reliant (Aatmanirbhar Bharat), while constantly striving to present a more robust and assertive India on the world stage – an India that is confident of its growing global stature and does not shy away from difficult decisions or reforms for the benefit of its populace.

Personal chemistry

It’s thus hardly a wonder that the US data firm Morning Consult, which tracks approval ratings of world leaders, reported last month that more than 75 per cent people surveyed approve of PM Modi while 20 per cent disapprove, putting the Indian Prime Minister’s net approval rating at 55 per cent – the highest among all the world leaders the company tracks. According to Morning Consult’s survey results, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s approval rating was 24 per cent while it was in the negative for the likes of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Indeed, as a world leader, PM Modi has nurtured great personal equations with a range of global statesmen and leaders – from Johnson and outgoing US President Donald Trump to Gulf Rulers such as Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed to Australian PM Scott Morrison and former Japan PM Shinzo Abe. But as the US election results showed, PM Modi’s swift embrace of President-elect Joe Biden and the mutual reciprocation is what has come to define New India – which is mature enough to work with a wide range of allies and interests.

As per the survey, PM Modi’s approval rating of 55 per cent is almost double that of the second most popular leader in the list of 13 democratic state heads, including those of the US, France, Australia and Brazil. The Morning Consult’s survey follows similar surveys by global agency Gallup and India’s CVoter – which also recorded a very high approval for Modi.

Efficient administrator

Noting the achievement, BJP president J.P. Nadda said that this was not only a testimony to PM Modi’s capable leadership but also a matter of pride for all Indians. Nadda tweeted that Modi had yet again emerged as the most popular head of government for his efficient handling of issues ranging from the COVID-19 crisis to the long-term goals of moving towards a self-reliant India. “PM @narendramodi ji’s popularity not only rises unabated across all demographic groups & geographic regions of the country and he also gets a thumbs up globally for his dedication to his country. PM Modi ranks Number 1 among all global leaders in these challenging times,” Nadda said.

Pandemic and the quest for vaccine

The handling of the pandemic – where India ranks among the lowest per capita mortalities despite the high number of infections – and the country’s quest for a coronavirus vaccine has certainly lent more credence to Modi’s superlative abilities of governance.

Congratulating the country as Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) granted emergency use approval to Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech for their COVID-19 vaccines, Modi tweeted: “A decisive turning point to strengthen a spirited fight! DCGI granting approval to vaccines of @SerumInstIndia and @BharatBiotech accelerates the road to a healthier and COVID-free nation. Congratulations India. Congratulations to our hardworking scientists and innovators… It would make every Indian proud that the two vaccines that have been given emergency use approval are made in India! This shows the eagerness of our scientific community to fulfil the dream of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, at the root of which is care and compassion.”

The Prime Minister also thanked frontline coronavirus warriors and expressed gratitude towards them. “We reiterate our gratitude to doctors, medical staff, scientists, police personnel, sanitation workers and all Corona warriors for the outstanding work done, that too in adverse circumstances. We will remain eternally grateful to them for saving many lives,” he said.

It is this combination of personal charisma and people skills that has propelled PM Modi to the pinnacle of global glory and is a testimony to his growing popularity despite the challenging times the world happens to be going through.

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