GUWAHATI, April 6 - For the urban voters of the country, quality drinking water and pollution-free environment are among their ten top priorities. This has come to light during a survey conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO, between October and December last year. The report on the findings of the survey was released by the NGO on March 25 last.
The survey-All India Survey on Governance Issues and Voting Behaviour 2018- was conducted to ascertain the priorities of the country�s voters and their views on the performance of the government on these areas. In total, 273,487 people were met by the researchers across 534 Lok Sabha constituencies of the country. In each of these constituencies, at least 500 people were talked to by the researchers.
It needs to be mentioned here that water and air pollutions have emerged as the two major problems in the Indian cities for the past several decades.
According to the survey, the other priorities of the voters include employment, healthcare facilities, better road connectivity and good governance, besides controlling terrorism and developing a strong defence system.
The report of the survey said the importance of drinking water rose by 150 per cent more than that in 2017 among the urban voters. However, in the rural areas, the drinking water issue found the seventh place in the list of the voters' priorities. Agriculture dominated the voters' priorities in the rural areas, the report added.
However, the report said all throughout the survey, better employment opportunities and better health care remain amongst the topmost voters� priorities. Also, these two voters' priorities continued to remain at the top at all India level since 2017. It is a matter of great concern that the voters have rated the performance of the government on all 31 listed governance issues as �Below Average�.
As per the report, 97.86 per cent of the voters felt that candidates with criminal background should not be in Parliament or State Assembly, nevertheless, there were 35.89 per cent voters who were willing to vote for a candidate with criminal records, if the candidate has done good work in the past.
It concluded that over the last two years, governments in power have neglected voters' priorities. This is conspicuous in the poor and the underwhelming performance of a majority of governments across states/UTs on top governance issues as rated by their respective voters.
Voters' priorities amongst 31 governance issues and performance of the government as rated by the voters on those issues included agriculture loan availability, electricity for agriculture and domestic use, farm prices, consumer prices, irrigation, subsidy for seeds and fertilizers, terrorism, employment, health care, law and order, public transport, roads, education, drinking water, empowerment and security of women.
Besides, eradication of corruption, reservation, strong defence/military, subsidised food distribution, training for jobs, garbage clearance, encroachment of public land/lakes, facilities for cyclists and pedestrians on roads, traffic congestion, environment, among others were also the priorities listed for voters' views.
The ADR research team included Vaishali Rawat and Nandini Raj, who developed an analytical framework to accomplish the research and analysis for evaluating the findings of the survey. They also approached a wide range of print, electronic and social media and coordinated with them to disseminate the findings of the survey to the widest possible audience. Devendra Kumar Singh and Kasturi Mishra (Interns) assisted the research group in fine-tuning the survey report. Alok Kumar Singh lent his research expertise in conducting the survey.