The politically important southern region of India shows more economic vitality compared with other parts of the country, with 38 per cent of Indians living there saying the national economy is getting better. But with about half of those living in the south (45 per cent) believing the economy is staying the same or getting worse, the Congress party may struggle to retain its electoral dominance there, it said. According to Gallup, residents living in India’s states in the north, which was more electorally competitive in the last election, are in dire economic straits because of a slowdown in the agricultural industry.
Just nine per cent of Indians in this region believe their national economy is improving, while a firm majority (65 per cent) say things are getting worse - the highest percentage in any region. Meanwhile, Indians living in the east are the most optimistic about the status of the national economy, with 52 per cent saying it is getting better. Gallup said in 2013, fewer than three in 10 Indians approved of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (27 per cent), while 40 per cent disapproved. His approval is weakest in the struggling north (14 per cent) - a steep drop from his 2012 approval rating of 38 per cent in that region.
The residents living in the south remain more favorable to Singh; he has a 40 per cent approval rating there, it said. More than half of Indians say their standard of living is either staying the same (35 per cent) or getting worse (20 per cent), suggesting a majority don’t necessarily see the future as particularly bright. Meanwhile, more than four in 10 say their living standards are getting better (44 per cent), Gallup said. According to the poll, there are differences by geography as well. Fewer Indians living in the central part of the country (28 per cent) or the north (34 per cent) say their standard of living is getting better.
Higher proportions of people saying their standard of living is getting better reside in the south and the east. More generally, Indians living in rural areas are less likely to say their standard of living is getting better than those living in urban areas . (PTI)