Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had warned last week, as Parliament was going for its winter recess, that he would drop a bombshell regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi if allowed to speak in the House. A survey of 1,235 people has revealed that his grandiose statements were a little too weak to cause an "earthquake", as he threatened would happen.
According to a CVOTER survey, conducted on 19 and 20 December in 24 states, 57.7 percent of the total respondents believed that Gandhi's allegations about Modi's corruption were baseless. This group of respondents refused to trust Gandhi, the survey said.
The survey was conducted to find out what the nation thinks about Gandhi's claims that he would expose Modi's graft.
Rahul Gandhi's charges came at the end of a stormy week in Parliament, which also saw many sharp and personal attacks from both sides. They were all reactions to the demonetisation exercise announced by the Modi government on 8 November. While the Centre attempted to weed out black money from the country, logistical bottlenecks and shortsightedness in implementing the scheme meant the country was pushed into an unprecedented cash flow situation, with banks running out of currency within a night. The ensuing confusion caused by a plethora of announcements, both written and verbal, and a slew of contingency measures came too little too late, and allowed Modi's political opponents, particularly the Congress, to go out all guns blazing against the prime minister and his party for maximum political mileage.
However, despite all the aggression from the Congress camp, it didn't quite succeed in hurting the BJP or the prime minister's image. The CVOTER survey said the advantage enjoyed by the BJP was quite clear, and cutting across demographics.
Among the 57.7 percent who did not believe Rahul Gandhi's allegations, 62.8 percent respondents were in the age group of 45-60, while 56.5 percent were below 25 years of age and 57.9 percent were between the age group of 25-45. When looked from a locational break-up, 53.3 percent were from an urban background and 67.6 percent from a semi-urban set-up; 58.8 percent of respondents came from rural India, and refused to believe the Congress' second-in-command's claims on Modi.
Ironically, even among those who thought Rahul Gandhi to be trustworthy enough, a huge majority of respondents didn't back his claims about Modi; just 7.6 percent of people thought there was substance to his claims. Finally, only a paltry 9.8 percent among Gandhi's supporters thought that his claims on Modi's alleged corruption are true, while another 3.9 percent backed these arguments though they don't necessarily support the Congress party.
The survey, which covered 419 Lok Sabha and 897 Assembly constituencies respectively, also covered different income groups to get an impression of what they reckon about the Congress leader's assertion.
In the higher income group, 81.9 percent respondents in the middle-income group, 78 percent and in the lower income group, and 86.2 percent respondents in the higher income group considered the corruption against Modi are baseless.
In contrast, the CVOTER survey said, 18.1 percent respondents in the higher income group and 22 percent among the middle-income group thought the corruption charges against the Prime Minister are serious. In the lower income group, 13.8 percent of the respondents believed that the charges against Modi are grave.
Updated Date: Dec 21, 2016 22:42:02 IST