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3 Reasons Behind PM Modi’s Popularity As Listed By The Economist

Pm Modi
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New Delhi: According to an analysis by The Economist, while populist leaders are typically not favored by elites worldwide, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is garnering increasing support from educated voters. The publication, in an article titled ‘Why India’s elites back Narendra Modi,’ suggests that several factors contribute to this phenomenon, including class politics, economics, and admiration for authoritative leadership.

The Economist describes Modi as a unique case, often associated with right-wing populists like Donald Trump, yet distinguished by his anticipated third-term victory and his appeal to educated demographics.

Contrary to trends seen in other countries where support for populist leaders tends to decline with higher education levels, India presents what the publication terms as the ‘Modi paradox.’ This paradox manifests in Modi’s significant popularity among educated voters, as highlighted by surveys from Gallup and Pew Research.

Moreover, Modi’s support isn’t limited to the educated elite; he has also made substantial gains among lower-class voters, a trend observed similarly in other populist movements globally.

Economic factors play a crucial role in Modi’s popularity, with India’s robust GDP growth driving expansion in the upper-middle class. The article contrasts this with the previous stronghold of the Congress party among the upper-middle class, which eroded due to economic slowdowns and corruption scandals.

Additionally, Modi’s administration is credited with enhancing India’s economic and geopolitical stature, further solidifying his appeal among the elite. Some supporters advocate for strongman governance, drawing parallels with successful models in China and East Asian countries, where decisive leadership purportedly accelerated economic progress.

However, The Economist warns of potential challenges to Modi’s elite support, including concerns over state authoritarianism, exemplified by incidents involving Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Despite this, most elites remain committed to democratic principles, indicating that sustained support for Modi hinges on the absence of a viable alternative.

The article also underscores the disillusionment among elites with the Congress party and its leader, Rahul Gandhi, citing Modi’s superior execution of welfare policies as a contributing factor.

Ultimately, The Economist suggests that a formidable opposition remains the most plausible threat to Modi’s elite backing, but such an alternative is currently lacking on the horizon.

As India gears up for elections scheduled in seven phases between April 19 and June 1, with results due on June 4, the dynamics of elite support for Modi may undergo further scrutiny and evolution.

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