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Home / Lok Sabha Elections / What sways a voter in Bihar? Survey says it’s jobs, water

What sways a voter in Bihar? Survey says it’s jobs, water

For voters both in rural and urban areas, issues of governance remain at the core of their political viewpoint, according to a survey done by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) in all the 40 Lok Sabha constituencies of the State, which covered 20,000 people.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Apr 02, 2019 09:26 IST
Arun Kumar
Arun Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Around 86% of the voters said it was their decision who to vote, while only 1% said they were swayed by caste/community leaders or colleagues.
Around 86% of the voters said it was their decision who to vote, while only 1% said they were swayed by caste/community leaders or colleagues. (HT)

Caste remains an integral part of Bihar politics and all the parties try to fix the equations and tailor their political positioning to caste matrix in their attempt to win seats.

But for voters both in rural and urban areas, issues of governance remain at the core of their political viewpoint, according to a survey done by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) in all the 40 Lok Sabha constituencies of the State, which covered 20,000 people.

If the survey findings truly reflect people’s mood, majority of voters of Bihar don’t seem happy with the state government at this stage and have given it slightly below average rating on important governance issues concerning their daily life. However, they said they would give maximum weightage to the chief ministerial nominee while voting for any candidate.

Rajeev Kumar of ADR said people were for issues concerning masses to be taken up in elections, which was not happening and that is why there was disenchantment with the kind of politics that was taking place. “People want their basic issues to be addressed, but the parties feel that would not fetch votes, which is a wrong notion,” he added.

Around 86% of the voters said it was their decision who to vote, while only 1% said they were swayed by caste/community leaders or colleagues.

Around 16% were aware of lure of money and liquor being used to draw votes. Majority of the voters (98%) said there should not be candidates with criminal antecedents in the fray, while only 22% were aware of crime records of candidates and another 37% said they voted for such candidates as they did not have knowledge about their criminal background.

A significant number (35%) of candidates said they voted for such candidates just because they felt that the candidates otherwise worked well. Besides, many felt that use of money power and less serious cases also worked in favour of such candidates.

Of the 31 issues listed in the survey, the voters prioritized 10 most important of them. At the top of the voters’ priority, which nearly 50% of the surveyed voters cited, is better employment opportunities, followed by water availability of agriculture (41.34%) and better hospital and primary health centres (39.09%). On all the three parameters, the Bihar voters rated the government below average.

In the rural areas, the voters gave more weightage of job opportunities. Even on agriculture loan availability, minimum support price (MSP) and electricity supply for agriculture, the voters gave below average rating to the government.

In the urban areas, drinking water was another major concern for the people, as was law and order, ranked fourth in the priority list. However, in rural areas, law and order fell to eighth on the priority list.

Jobs top on mind

Survey finds basic amenities still most important factors for voters

Voters’ priorities (urban areas)

47% Job opportunities

46% Drinking water

43% Healthcare

40% Law and order

37% Traffic congestion

Voters’ priorities (rural areas)

50% Job opportunities

48% Water for agriculture

47% Agriculture loan

38% Electricity for agriculture

38% Healthcare

Source: Association of Democratic Reforms

Why people vote for candidates with criminal antecedents

35% Serious cases not against them

35% candidates are very powerful

35% growing use of money power

98% Such candidates should not be fielded

73% CM nominee determines voting

ht epaper

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