New Delhi: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government completes two years in office in its second term on May 30, the ruling dispensation at the Centre faces a herculean task this time courtesy the Covid-19 pandemic. Although India is gradually recovering from the second wave of the pandemic with the number of fresh infections going down, it is important to understand the mood of the general public with regard to the prevailing situation and also what they think about the Union government’s performance in this regard.
The Covid-19 daily new cases in India were on Friday reported to be at the lowest in the last 44 days. At 1.86 lakh cases, the declining trend in new cases continues. The active caseload further declined to 23,43,152 with the cases decreasing by 76,755 in the last 24 hours.
The situation may have improved in Delhi and Mumbai with cases falling but the virus in in its second wave has penetrated deep into India’s villages and remote areas where medical infrastructure is not strong.
Many sections of people in India are fuming over Modi government’s lack of preparation and thinking the worst of the pandemic was over, The government has been chastised by opposition parties and critics for holding mass election rallies in West Bengal that may have worsened the situation. Also,the decision to permit the mega Kumbh Mela in Uttarakhand has also been viewed as a reckless decision.
Keeping these aspects in mind, C-Voter survey was conducted to know the mood of the nation – what do people have to say about the pandemic situation along with the performance of Prime Minister Modi-led government.
Here are the important questions asked along with what the respondents revealed. The people from urban and rural areas gave their responses in terms of strongly agreed, agreed, strongly disagreed, disagreed and not sure categories.
People disappointed with PM Modi campaigning during elections
As per the survey, 34% respondents from urban areas and 29% from rural regions believe Prime Minister Modi campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during the recently-held elections in five states was right while 58% from urban areas and 61% from rural areas objected to conducting rallies. Whereas 8 percent urban and 10 percent rural respondents said that they were unsure. So, the majority of urban and rural population disapproved of the Prime Minister doing political campaigns amid Covid.
Similarly, over 60% believed the state assembly polls and panchayat elections should have been postponed.
Around 55% believed Kumbh should have been kept symbolic
When asked about the Kumbh Mela and whether the religious festival and congregation should have been symbolic from the beginning. In response, 58 percent urban and 54 percent rural respondents replied yes. 22 percent urban and 19 percent rural respondents replied no. Whereas 20 percent urban and 27 percent rural respondents said they were unsure about this.
Nearly 64% believe PM Modi is better equipped than Rahul Gandhi to handle the coronavirus situation in the country
During the C-Voter survey, when the people were asked who would have handled the Corona crisis better, 20 percent of the urban and 23 percent of the rural respondents favoured Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Whereas, 66 percent urban and 62 percent rural respondents sided with Prime Minister Modi. 14 percent urban and 15 percent rural respondents said that they were unsure. So, there was a greater trust on Prime Minister Modi than Gandhi.
However, 17% have expressed disappointment with the Central government for not being able to handle the situation well. 5% are upset with the state governments.
Around 46% opined the Modi government’s way of getting vaccine produced and distributed is fine. Nearly 42% are not in favour
When the people were asked whether sending the vaccines abroad was right, 54 percent of the urban and 45 percent of rural respondents replied yes. 29 percent urban and 37 percent rural respondents replied no. While 17 percent urban and 18 percent villagers said they were unsure about this.
Approximately 44% are of the opinion that the government should not have focused on creating Central Vista during this period while 33% think otherwise
When people were asked during the C-Voter survey, whether the construction of Central Vista amid Covid period is right. 48 percent urban and 39 percent rural respondents replied yes. 29 percent urban and 36 percent rural respondents said no. So, 23 percent urban and 25 percent rural respondents said that they were unsure. So, most people are okay with the Central Vista project being taken up amid the Covid crisis.
What is the biggest problem Indians are facing today?
In response to this, the people responded – Corruption = 7%. Unemployment = 18%, Poverty = 5%, Inflation = 10%, Agriculture = 4%, Corona = 36%, Other = 20%.
Precisely, the people today are more worried about coronavirus than corruption, unemployment and inflation.
What is the biggest resentment of the people against Modi-2 government?
In response to this, 44 percent urban and 40 percent rural people said it was the handling of Covid situation. Whereas, 20 percent urban and 25 percent rural farmers stated it was the agrarian laws.
9 percent urban and 9 percent rural respondents said that it was the issues of Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAA) and the Delhi riots. 7 percent urban and 10 percent rural people said the border dispute with China, while 20 percent urban and 17 percent rural stated other reasons.
OTHER FINDINGS FROM THE SURVEY BELOW
Are you afraid that either you or someone in the family may actually catch the coronavirus?
There was a marginal difference between those who strongly agreed (38.5%) to have this fear, followed by those who strongly disagreed (32.9%). Besides this, 18.4% of respondents agreed while 6.0% disagreed and 4.2% remained neutral.
Has the Indian government handled the coronavirus situation well?
Notably, a majority of respondents have strongly disagreed with the notion that the Union government handled the situation well, followed by those who agreed (26.4 %) and those who strongly agreed (22.3%). 17.4% of people said they disagreed with the way the Centre handled the situation and 4.7% were not sure about the same.
How many days of ration/medicine etc. or money for ration/medicine etc. is available for your family in your house?
15.7% of respondents said that their ration stock would last less than a week. Overall, 53.2% reported to having supplies that would last less than three weeks, 46.7% said they have enough for more than three weeks.
Was there a requirement of ICU, ventilator, oxygen supply? If yes, were you able to get these easily?
When households reporting hospitalisation were asked about this, 51.7% of respondents said there was a requirement and they got supplies easily, followed by those who said they got them with a lot of efforts (31.7%). 8.0% said they were required to put little effort and 8.4% reported that there was a requirement and they were unable to meet the necessary requirement even after doing as much as they could.
Was the patient completely healthy before and died of Covid?
When households reporting a family member’s death were asked about this, notably, a majority of respondents (58.9%) said that the person was completely healthy before and died due to Covid.
17.5% of families said the patient had some serious ailment like heart disease, diabetes, TB, cancer etc. This was followed by 13.3% of people that were unsure about the same and 10.4% of families that said the person wasn’t completely healthy before but didn’t have any serious ailment.
In terms of age, most patients (36.2%) who died were reported to be aged less than 45 years followed by those between 46 to 65 years (34.4%). 21.2% of fatalities were reported to have happened to the people, who were either 66 or older.
Would you take the Covid vaccine?
Most respondents (83.5%) expressed willingness to take the Covid vaccine when it is publicly available while 12.8 % said they wouldn’t take it.
When asked if they think the new coronavirus vaccines would be safe, 70.8% of the people thought that to be true while 13.0% of respondents disagreed. Similarly, most people (71.9 %) think the jabs will be effective.
When those who denied to take the Covid vaccines were asked to state the reasons for the same, 19.5% of respondents said they do not feel they are at risk of catching the virus followed by those (19.2%) who strangely believe vaccines can give you the disease they are designed to protect you against.
4.7% are waiting for other effective treatments soon, 11.0% felt the approval was rushed and the vaccines may not be thoroughly tested, 8.4% said they don’t know enough about them to make a decision.
Meanwhile, among those who have been vaccinated, most of the respondents (57.2%) said there were no side effects and they didn’t get sick at all. 33.6% said they experienced minor side-effects and got a little sick. Only 6.0% said they experienced a lot of side effects and got very sick.
Sampling and Methodology
Poll Sample Size: 56685
Period of the survey: 01st January-27th May 2021
Methodology: CATI, Covering all 542 Lok Sabha Segments
Margin of error is +/- 3% at State level and +/-5% at regional level.
Confidence interval: 95%
Demography: Data weighted to the known Census profile, including Gender, Age,
Education, Rural/Urban, Religion and Caste apart from the voting recalls for last
Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections.