Is it time to sound the alarm bells? Public support for the Narendra Modi-led NDA government's demonetisation scheme may be waning, new data from a Huffpost-BW-CVoter opinion poll indicates.
The poll was conducted for HuffPost India and Business World by CVoter on 8 December, as part of its regular tracking poll covering 1,203 randomly selected respondents in 261 Parliamentary constituencies across 26 States in 11 languages. The data was weighted to the known population profile, and the margin of error was +/- 3% at the national level and +/- 5% at the regional level. The previous rounds were conducted on November 21 and November 28-29.
The proportion of people who said that the pain of demonetisation was worth the stated aim of curbing black money continued to fall for the third straight week, while in semi-urban and urban India, support that was growing might now be reversing. Support fell the fastest among the poor and the middle class, and fell slower among the rich.
The share of people saying that the impact of demonetisation in their own lives was either disastrous or huge and difficult to manage grew across rural and semi-urban groups and remained the same among urban respondents. The numbers indicate that people's experiences might have improved between the first and second weeks, but as ATMs and banks continue to struggle to give people enough money, the impact on people's lives is deteriorating.
The share of respondents who thought that the implementation of the process was good or "ok" also fell in semi-urban and urban areas and rose only slightly in rural areas. Most worryingly for the government, nearly half of rural respondents feel that demonetisation is hurting the poor most,
However, PM Modi's political messaging and personal popularity remain unshaken, the survey indicates. A majority across groups felt that demonetisation was beneficial in the long run and said that they would continue to support it even if the problems did not subside soon. A majority - though just barely so in rural areas - said the Modi's popularity had only risen since the announcement.