PM Narendra Modi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Reuters

A survey conducted by American think-tank Pew Research Center has shown rise in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's favourability rating in India from 78% in 2013 to 87% in 2015, a year after the BJP came to power.

"Fully 87% of Indians say they have a favorable opinion of Modi. This backing is up from 78% in 2013, prior to his election as prime minister. And this support is quite intense. Almost seven-in-ten Indians (68%) have a very favorable view of the BJP leader today," the research says.

Pew interviewed 2,452 Indians, including the traditional Congress supporters between 6 April and 19 May, 2015 as part of the research. It showed that most of the citizens, including those who back Congress, are satisfied with Modi's handling of the Indian economy.

"As might be expected, 94% of BJP followers support the leader of their party. However, it is notable that 74% of backers of the rival Indian National Congress party (INC) also see Modi favorably," according to the research.

According to the survey, most of the Indians think that the current economic situation in India is "very" good. 

"After Modi came to power in 2014, public satisfaction with India's direction has nearly doubled and pride in the country is up... Almost three-quarters of the public now think economic conditions are good. And about two-thirds have a very favorable view of current Prime Minister Narendra Modi," an article by Pew said.

Many of them even think that Modi is efficiently handling the basic issues in the nation –access to clean toilets, unemployment, poverty and inflation. Congress supporters are among those who approve of Modi's take on handling these issues.

However, many are still concerned by the rise in communal violence in parts of the country ever since Modi-led BJP government came to power in May last year.

"But distrust remains, perhaps in part because incidents of communal violence were up by nearly a quarter in the first five months of 2015, under BJP rule, compared with a comparable period in 2014 when a Congress-led government was in power," the survey said according to PTI.

"Communal relations is the only surveyed issue on which fewer than half of Congress followers (47 per cent) approve of Modi's efforts," the Pew report said.

Majorities of Congress Supporters Approve of Modi on Issues, Except Communal Relations

There were others who were concerned about crime, inflation and corruption, while certain proportion of the respondents were of the view that India has to do deal with global climate change and threat from Pakistan. 

Pakistan is viewed as the biggest threat to India by 86% of the respondents in the research.

"Nevertheless, Indians believe their country still faces myriad challenges. More than eight-in-ten say crime, jobs, inflation and corruption are very big problems. Concern about air pollution is up 22 points in just the past year, complaints about poor-quality schools are up 20 points and worry about health care is up 15 points," the research said.

"And Indians see the world as a challenging place. Nearly three-quarters say they are very concerned about global climate change. A similar proportion say neighboring Pakistan poses a very serious threat to India," it added.

Pakistan Seen as India's Biggest Threat

Coming back to the positives of the research, Modi has been able to gain trust among the residents of rural India, which was once the stronghold of Congress.

"The Modi phenomenon transcends India's traditionally partisan politics. On most of the challenges facing the nation, the prime minister and his party enjoy support from both the BJP party faithful and followers of the opposition Congress party. Moreover, Modi and the BJP now have greater backing than Congress in rural areas, traditionally a Congress stronghold," the survey said.

BJP Leads Congress in Both Urban and Rural Areas