India’s two largest political parties—Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party—are vying on income support schemes to woo voters in the upcoming general election. But a new survey suggests that there is only one thing most voters want: better jobs.

“Across all divides—gender, age, social categories, rural and urban, and wealth groups—Indian voters have rated better employment opportunities as their highest priority,” according to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms that surveyed more than 2.73 lakh people across 534 Lok Sabha constituencies in 2018. “This is hardly surprising given the phase of jobless growth that India has been witnessing, under both UPA-II and NDA.”

Need for better jobs was a top priority for Indian voters for the second year running. Other governance issues that voters care most about were better healthcare, drinking water and roads.

Priority to jobs gained 57 percent more importance in 2018 compared to the previous years’ survey result by ADR. Of India’s eight most socio-economically backward states, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh prioritised employment opportunities over other concerns.

Overall, individuals from the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes were most dissatisfied with the government’s ability to provide better jobs.

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