NEW DELHI “Better employment opportunities” is the top priority of Indian voters and they are unsatisfied with the government’s below-average performance, reveals a survey conducted by election watchdog – the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
The survey, released on Monday, said the government’s performance score on the top 10 voters’ priorities is below average.
The other top two voters’ priorities, “better healthcare” and “drinking water” were also rated as below average.
“This evidently indicates that the voters are unsatisfied with the government’s performance. The government needs to prioritise and invest more particularly in these sectors,” it said.
“On better employment opportunities, which is the top priority among voters, the performance of the government has been rated as one of the worst (2.15 on a scale of 5).”
The ADR conducted the survey between October 2018 and December 2018 covering 534 Lok Sabha constituencies, in which 2,73,487 voters spread among various demographics participated.
The three main objectives of this survey were to identify voters’ priorities on specific governance issues, voters’ ratings of the government’s performance on those issues, and factors affecting voting behaviour.
“It is quite clear from the top 10 voters’ priorities that Indian voters’ prioritise — employment and basic amenities (such as healthcare, drinking water, better roads) — lie above all governance issues (including terrorism and strong defence/military),” it said.
“This indisputably is a result of prevailing governance deficit in these sectors that is causing deprivation to the average Indian voter besides also leading to the denial of their fundamental rights such as right to live with human dignity as embodied in the Article-21 of the Constitution.”
It is important for the government to ensure basic services to all sections of the society for inclusive and equitable development, it added.
As per the survey, “better employment opportunities” (46.80 per cent), “better health care” (34.60 per cent) and “drinking water” (30.50 per cent) are the top three voters’ priorities at the all India level, followed by ‘better roads’ (28.34 per cent) and ‘better public transport’ (27.35 per cent).
Agricultural related governance issues featured predominantly as “availability of water for agriculture” (26.40 per cent) that was ranked sixth, followed by “agriculture loan availability” (25.62 per cent), “higher price realisation for farm products” (25.41 per cent), and :agriculture subsidy for seeds and fertilsers” (25.06 per cent).
The ADR said it is a matter of serious concern that for none of the 31 listed voters’ priorities, the performance of the government was rated as average or above average.
The worst performance of the government, as rated by the voters, was on the issues of encroachment of public lands, lakes, and terrorism, training for jobs, strong defence and military, eradication of corruption, lower food prices for consumers and mining and quarrying.
It said “better employment opportunities”, and “better healthcare centres” were among the top priorities last year as well.
Out of the 32 states and union territories, in 29 of them, voters have given below average ratings to the government for its performance on all top 3 voters’ priorities at the state level.
This is with the exception of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Puducherry.
In most socio-economically backward states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh better employment opportunities is the foremost voters’ priority, as per the survey.
Drinking water is the topmost voters’ priority in Odisha, Karnataka and Daman and Diu.