A voter survey by the non-governmental organisation Association for Democratic Reforms suggested voter disappointment with the government’s performance on key issues including jobs, providing healthcare and drinking water.
All the top three priorities had an average rating of 2.15-2.55, indicating below average performance. Other priorities include better roads and public transport, agricultural issues, and law and order matters. The government fared poorly on these indicators as well.
The survey took place between October-December 2018. It covered 534 Lok Sabha constituencies. A total of 273487 voters participated in the survey.
“The government’s performance score on the top 10 voters’ priorities is below average….On Better Employment Opportunities, which is the topmost voters’ priority, the performance of the government has been rated as one of the worst (2.15 on a scale of 5),” it said.
Defence and military issues were low on the list of both urban and rural voters. A total of 44.21 per cent of rural voters saw ‘Better Employment Opportunities’ as their utmost priority. A ‘strong defence/military’ was a priority for 3.02 per cent of rural voters. Terrorism got 3.34 per cent.
The percentage of urban voters who identified military issues and terrorism as key issues was 5.18 per cent and 4.1 per cent respectively. Voters rated the government’s handling of both issues as below average.
“It is quite clear from the top 10 Voters’ Priorities that Indian voters prioritize employment and basic amenities (like Healthcare, Drinking Water, Better Roads etc.) above all governance issues (including Terrorism and Strong Defence/Military),” said the report.
It is important to note that the survey was taken before the Pulwama attack which happened on February 14, 2019 when a vehicle laden with explosives killed forty members of the Central Reserve Police Force. There were subsequent tensions with Pakistan, which included military action, raising tensions in the region. Some observers have suggested that this has changed the perception of the government favourably.