In Mumbai, prices beat security as top issue | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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In Mumbai, prices beat security as top issue

mumbai Updated: Sep 15, 2009 00:39 IST

Sharp hikes in the prices of essential commodities will be the Mumbaiite’s top-of-the-mind issue during the assembly elections on October 13 — bad news for the ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combination.

This was revealed in a pre-poll survey conducted by Hindustan Times across the city’s 36 assembly constituencies, as 56 per cent of respondents rated price rise as the topmost irritant.

HT selected Mumbai for the survey because more than 10 per cent members of the assembly are from the city.

Little wonder that when the two alliances — Congress-NCP and Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — get ready for the battle, Mumbai will greatly influence their strategies.

The second most important issue on the mind of the voter was security, as the terror attacks that rocked the city on November 26, 2008 still haunts 22 per cent of the respondents.

Infrastructure, one of the Mumbaiite’s old bones to pick with the state came third, with 12 per cent saying it was most important. Next came the electricity tariff hike, which 10 per cent respondents thought most important.

“Mumbai has a largely middle class population. So, price hike will be an important issue for them,” said B. Venkatesh Kumar, a Mumbai-based political analyst.

As the average Mumbaiite does not think too much of political parties, a whopping 66 per cent said they did not expect any party could fulfill their aspirations, while 50 per cent said voting would not make any difference to their lives.

But as many as 46 per cent hoped that voting would make some difference and 60 per cent wanted young legislators — preferably below 45 years.

If the ruling parties have drawn flak over price hike and security, the Opposition — the Shiv Sena and BJP — could not impress the voter either. The Opposition was rated as average — 4.9 on a scale of 10.