As the 2024 battle draws close, the Opposition seems to be looking for ways to bring down Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But so far it has singularly failed to dent the image of Modi who not only has spectacular achievements to his credit on the domestic front, but is also being internationally praised for his robust foreign policy. Being hailed as one of the most influential leaders of the world, he set the global agenda at the recent G20 summit in New Delhi. India’s G20 presidency has been marked by several important developments that promise to make the world more equitable with the voice of even smaller nations being heard for the first time.
There is no denying that as the head of the world’s largest and most populous democracy, Modi has earned the respect of leaders across the globe. Only recently, he was judged the world’s most popular leader with an approval rating of 76 percent in a survey conducted by the US-based consultancy firm ‘Morning Consult’. In previous ratings, too, PM Modi had topped the ranking.
In the ‘Global Leader Approval Rating Tracker’, 76 percent of people approved of PM Modi’s leadership while 18 percent disapproved of it and 6 percent did not give any opinion. This is a huge number considering that the second-best approval rating is enjoyed by Switzerland President Alain Berset (64 percent). While Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has 61 percent approval rating, US President Joe Biden has 40 percent, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau 37 percent and UK PM Rishi Sunak 27 percent, followed by French President Emmanuel Macron at 24 percent.
The survey proves beyond doubt that Modi’s popularity remains unrivalled among global leaders. As Union Home Minister Amit Shah noted, this is not only a testament to the success of the Modi doctrine in foreign policy but also a global recognition of the Indian Prime Minister’s achievements in lifting millions out of poverty by improving their living standards.
So, Modi has done well both on domestic and global fronts with his popularity constantly rising. In sharp contrast, his rivals are struggling to get their act together. The Opposition, which formed a front acronymed I.N.D.I.A some time ago, is yet to decide who its prime ministerial candidate would be in 2024. The delay seems to be mainly on account of the fact that there are too many contenders whose clashing ambitions might make the alliance’s job even more difficult.
One of the contenders is Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar who, after parting ways with the BJP, joined the Mahagathbandhan consisting of parties such as Lalu Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress. Some smaller parties are also part of this alliance, which is already showing signs of strain and disunity. Nitish, whose supporters make no secret of his Prime Ministerial ambitions, has been courting one controversy after another, the latest being his alleged derogatory remarks against former chief minister Jitan Ram Majhi who is a highly respected Dalit leader of Bihar. The controversies have seriously dented Nitish’s image and I.N.D.I.A alliance partners are unlikely to accept him as a candidate who can challenge Modi in 2024.
The truth is that at the moment there is no leader in the opposition ranks capable of challenging Prime Minister Modi whose charisma continues to cast a spell on the people of the country.