NEW DELHI — According to an India Today Political Stock Exchange poll, among Scheduled Castes and Muslims, Rahul Gandhi is a more popular choice for the PM’s post than Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
However, the poll shows PM Narendra Modi is far more popular overall with support from 52 per cent of respondents, compared to 33 per cent for the Congress president.
Forty-four per cent of Scheduled Caste voters prefer Rahul Gandhi, while 41 per cent want Narendra Modi to return as prime minister.
The PSE poll shows support for Rahul Gandhi among SCs has risen by 10 per cent since January, while it has fallen by six per cent for PM Modi.
Sixty-one per cent of Muslims want Rahul Gandhi to be prime minister, up from 57 per cent in January.
Eighteen per cent of Muslims picked PM Modi — an increase of 1 per cent compared to January.
Fifty-two per cent of the respondents prefer Narendra Modi and 33 per cent Gandhi in March as the next PM. In January, the Modi-Gandhi preference ratio stood at 48:35 compared to 46:32 in October 2018, the data has shown.
Caste, age-wise preferences
PM Modi enjoys overwhelming support from the OBCs — 67 per cent, up from 55 per cent in January. His general-category base has grown to 72 per cent in March from 55 per cent in January, according to the PSE findings.
Gandhi scores better than the PM among Muslims — 61 per cent in March, up from 57 per cent in January. Forty-four per cent of the SCs backed him in March from 34 per cent a couple of months ago.
The Congress leader’s latest support-base among the OBCs stands at 20 per cent and 15 per among general categories, the data showed.
The Congress president is preferred by 35 per cent of the 18-25 voters and 33 per cent of senior citizens, the survey showed.
Modi surpasses Gandhi in the gender-wise vote share, the PSE showed. The PM is backed by 53 per cent of male respondents and 51 per cent of woman voters, according to the data.
The Congress president is supported by 32 per cent of male and 35 per cent of woman voters, the PSE suggested.
Unemployment tops the list of the most important issues for Indians, the PSE found.
Thirty-six per cent of the respondents regard joblessness as paramount followed by terrorism at 23 per cent and farm distress at 22 per cent, the data showed.
Twelve per cent rated corruption and seven per cent price rise as the key issues.
According to data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) recently, the country’s unemployment rate rose to 7.2 per cent in February 2019, the highest since September 2016, and up from 5.9 percent in February 2018.