Manmohan Singh is still the most popular leader in India

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi, May 22: The Congress' image might have taken a beating in the wake of several scandals alleging the involvement of various leaders of the UPA government but that hasn't quite affected the popularity of its top brass, a survey revealed.

According to a survey carried out by Star News and A C Nielsen, Dr Manmohan Singh remains the most popular leader in India. This despite the opposition gunning for his head in the aftermath of 2G Spectrum allocation scandal, Commonwealth game fiasco, Antrix-Devas deal and the Adarsh society scam. He got 21 percent ratings.

The second spot belonged to Gandhi family scion and Congress general secretary, Rahul Gandhi who followed closely on 19 percent rating. Rahul, Congress' heir apparent is slowly but steadily gaining popularity among the Indian masses and his projection as the youth face of the grand old party of Indian politics is certainly adding to his charisma.

Sonia Gandhi, under whose stewardship, the Congress party has managed to revive its fortune still remains the country's favourite bahu as she lands up at the third spot.

The popularity charts had a place for the BJP as well. The party's poster boy Narendra Modi lapped up the fourth spot as analysts say that his image as a Hindu hardliner and the allegations about his role in the Godhra riots might have put him behind the Congress trio.

But for all the brightness, the Congress has something to worry about in the ratings as almost 19 per cent of the respondents felt that the performance of UPA-II has been very poor while 50 per cent of them responded that corruption has increased manifold. This must be a worrying factor for Congress as commonsense suggests that more than individual glory it is the overall image of the party that will matter the most in the next elections.

And for the BJP, they have got in their ranks a leader who is popular for his developmental works and only if they start getting their acts together, the power-drought at centre can come to and.

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