Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Jobs, health care top priorities for Jharkhand voters, reveals survey

The ADR survey revealed that 47.08% of the total surveyed voters in Jharkhand said better employment opportunities were their top priority in the Lok Sabha elections.
Jharkhand Pradesh Mahila Congress workers campaign for their candidate Subodh Kant Sahay from Ranchi constituency for upcoming lok sabha election campaign 2019.(ANI)
Jharkhand Pradesh Mahila Congress workers campaign for their candidate Subodh Kant Sahay from Ranchi constituency for upcoming lok sabha election campaign 2019.(ANI)
Published on Apr 26, 2019 04:07 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Ranchi | By

Even as political parties have made corruption a major poll plank to attract voters in the Lok Sabha elections, the issue finds least takers in Jharkhand, as voters showed more concern about employment, better health services and law and order, according to a survey conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the report of which was released on Thursday.

ADR conducted the voters’ survey across 534 constituencies in the country, covering over 2.73 lakh voters. In Jharkhand, the survey was conducted between October and December 2018 and covered around 7,000 respondents across 14 parliamentary constituencies.

The survey revealed that 47.08% of the total surveyed voters in Jharkhand said better employment opportunities were their top priority in the Lok Sabha elections. 40.08% voters opted for better hospitals and primary healthcare centres as their second priority. Policing and law and order ranked as the third priority among 34.51% voters in Jharkhand

“Objectives of the survey were to find out voters’ priorities on specific governance issues, voters’ ratings of the government’s performance on those issues and factors influencing voting behaviour.” said Sudhir Pal, ADR state coordinator.

He said the performance of the state government on all top three priorities was rated as below average. Government’s performance was rated on scale of five points where 1 was categorised as bad, 3 as average and 5 as good.

Voters rated employment opportunities in Jharkhand at 2.11 on a scale of five points, healthcare at 1.90 and law and order at 2.39, all three below average.

The ADR survey was categorised in two sections, rural and urban voters’ priorities. Interestingly, rural voters have said employment opportunities are their top priority, while urban voters listed law and order as their top priority and employment as second.

Surprisingly, corruption finds no taker among rural voters, while the issue is least prioritised among urban voters. Only 17% voters in urban Jharkhand said corruption was an issue of importance for them.

ADR officials said voters had been asked to enlist their top 10 priorities during the election. “Rural people did not name corruption in their top 10 list, while only 17% voters in urban Jharkhand listed it as their priority,” officials said.

As far as voters’ behaviour is concerned on the day of polling, 84% of Jhrakhand voters said their own opinion mattered the most while casting votes, according to the survey report.

Around 83% of voters said that they knew that distribution of cash, gifts, liquors and other contraband for votes was illegal, while 98% of voters felt that candidates with criminal charges should not be in the parliament or the state assembly. On being asked of why do they vote for candidates with criminal charges, 38% voters said they are unaware of a candidate’s criminal records, while 36% of voters said they vote for such persons because they have otherwise done good work. Other reasons for voting for candidates with criminal charges were that the candidates belonged to the voters’ caste or religion, the candidate was a powerful or influential person and the candidate has spent generously in the elections.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sanjoy Dey is principal correspondent in Jharkhand and writes on government, urban development, forest and environment, tourism, rural development and agriculture. He likes to write human interest stories.

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