Voter Survey in Jharkhand exposes public unhappiness with governance

Written by SabrangIndia | Published on: April 25, 2019

The Jharkhand Survey Report 2018 points to the fact that voters’ priorities in Jharkhand have been neglected by the government in power. The government has performed poorly and underwhelmingly on all top ten governance issues as rated by the voters of Jharkhand, the survey report stated.


Jharkhand
 
New Delhi: The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) commissioned perhaps the largest ever Voter Survey in any country. The survey was conducted between October 2018 and December 2018, prior to the General Elections to the Lok Sabha 2019. It covered 534 Lok Sabha constituencies with 2,73,487 voters participating in this exercise spread among various demographics. The three main objectives of this survey were to identify the following: (i) voters’ priorities on specific governance issues, (ii) voters’ ratings of the government's performance on those issues, and (iii) factors affecting voting behaviour.
 
Focusing on Jharkhand, the ADR’s report provides an analysis of 10 most important governance issues as rated by the voters of Jharkhand (out of the 31 listed in the questionnaire). These voters’ priorities are further examined in relation to the performance of the Government on those issues as perceived by the respondents. The survey covered approximately 7000 respondents across all 14 parliamentary constituencies of Jharkhand.
 
Key Findings
The Jharkhand Survey 2018 shows that Better Employment Opportunities (47.08%), Better Hospitals/Primary Healthcare Centres (40.08%), and Better Law and Order/Policing (34.51%) are the top three voters’ priorities in overall Jharkhand.
 
The performance of the government on all top three voters’ priorities of Better Employment Opportunities (2.11 on a scale of 5), Better Hospitals/Primary Healthcare Centres (1.90), and Better Law and Order/Policing (2.39) was rated as Below Average.
 
In rural Jharkhand, the topmost voters’ priorities were Better Employment Opportunities (47%), Agriculture Subsidy for Seeds/Fertilisers (42%), and Electricity for Agriculture (40%).
 
The performance of the government on rural voters’ priorities of Better Employment Opportunities (2.15 on a scale of 5), Agriculture Subsidy for Seeds/Fertilisers (2.06), and Electricity for Agriculture (2.09) was rated as Below Average.
 
In addition, the government has performed poorly in Better Hospitals/Primary Healthcare Centres (1.90) and Sand and Stone Quarrying/Mining (1.97) in rural Jharkhand.
 
For the urban voters in Jharkhand, the topmost priorities were Better Law and Order/Policing (55%), Better Employment Opportunities (48%), and Better Hospitals/ Primary Healthcare Centres (46%).
 
The performance of the government on urban voters’ priorities of Better Law and Order/Policing (2.10 on a scale of 5), Better Employment Opportunities (1.99), and Better Hospitals/Primary Healthcare Centres (1.91) was rated as Below Average.
 
In addition, the government has performed poorly on Better Roads (1.9) and Better Public Transport (1.94) in urban Jharkhand.
 
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Graph 1: Jharkhand - Top 3 overall Voters’ Priorities and Government’s Performance Ranking

 
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Graph 2: Jharkhand - Rural & Urban Breakup of Voters' Priorities and Government's Performance
 
Salient Observations on Voting Behaviour in Jharkhand
According to Jharkhand Survey 2018, the highest percentage of voters said that the Candidate’s Party was the most significant reason (Important: 48% and Very Important: 30%) in voting for a particular candidate in an election. This was followed by the CM Candidate (Important: 39% and Very Important: 38%) and the Candidate himself/herself (Important: 50% and Very Important: 18%).
 
For 19% voters, distribution of cash, liquor, gifts etc. was an important (14%) and very important (5%) factor in voting a particular candidate in an election.
 
While deciding which candidate to vote for in an election, 84% of Jharkhand voters stated that their own opinion mattered the most, followed by voters for whom the opinion of their Spouse (6%) and Family Members (6%) mattered the most.
 
A large number of voters (83%) knew that distribution of cash, gifts etc. was illegal.
 
39% of voters disclosed that they were aware of instances where such inducements were offered to the voters in return for their votes.
 
98% of voters felt that candidates with criminal background should not be in Parliament or State Assembly.
 
Only 34% of voters knew that they could get information on criminal records of the candidates.
 
In relation to voting candidates with criminal antecedents, 38% of voters felt that people vote for such candidates because they are unaware of his/her criminal records.
 
36% of voters believe that people vote for criminal candidates because they have otherwise done good work.
 
35% of voters felt that people vote for candidates with a criminal background because the cases against them are not of a serious nature.
 
Other important factors in voting for criminal candidates were that candidate was from similar caste or religion (35%), the candidate is powerful (34%) and that candidate has spent generously in elections (34%).
 
“The Jharkhand Survey Report 2018 points to the fact that voters’ priorities in Jharkhand have been neglected by the government in power. This is quite clear from the fact that the government has performed poorly and underwhelmingly on all top ten governance issues as rated by the voters of Jharkhand,” ADR concluded.