On better employment opportunities, which is the top priority among voters, the performance of the government has been rated as one of the worst (2.15 on a scale of 5), the report said. The other top two voters’ priorities, “better healthcare” and “drinking water” were also rated as below average.

“It is quite clear from the top 10 priorities that Indian voters prioritise employment and basic amenities like healthcare, drinking water, better roads and transport over governance issues including terrorism and strong defense/military. For inclusive and equitable development, it is important that government ensures basic services reach all sections of the society as it is the key to developing human capabilities,” the survey said. Founder member of ADR and former IIMA professor Jagdeep Chhokar told Mirror: “It is clear that the priorities which voters’ gave do not seem to interest the political parties and media in the country.”

The survey

The ADR conducted the survey between October 2018 and December 2018. The three main objectives of this survey were to identify voters’ priorities on specific governance issues, voters’ ratings of the government’s performance on those issues, and factors affecting voting behaviour. The ADR said it is a matter of serious concern that for none of the 31 listed voters’ priorities, the performance of the government was rated as average or above average.

Priority of urban voters
In urban India, better employment opportunity was the topmost priority of 51.60% voters compared to national average of 46.80%. Better hospitals and health care (39.41), traffic congestion (37.17%), drinking water (35.05%) and better roads (34.91%) were the other priorities.

Priority of rural voters
For rural voters, farming-related issues topped the list of priorities. After better employment opportunities (44.21%), issues like availability of water for agriculture (40.62%), agriculture loan availability (39.42%), higher price for the farm products (39.09%) and agriculture subsidy for seeds and fertilisers (38.56%) are the most important issues.

Rural voters felt government performed worst in providing school education (1.35), eradication of corruption (1.94), reservation in jobs and education (1.45). 

Rise in voters’ disappointment

A similar survey was carried out in 2017. Better employment opportunities and better hospitals/primary healthcare centers remained top priorities with voters rating the government poorly in 2018 compared to 2017. On employment front, the priority increased by 56.67% in 2018. It was 30% in 2017 and rose to 47% in 2018. Priority for better hospitals increased from 25% in 2017 to 35% in 2018 while drinking water priority increased by 150% from 12% in 2017 to 30% in 2018.

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