Voters in Gujarat give highest weightage to caste and religion of the candidate before casting their vote. In other words, party, candidate, PM/CM face or distribution of gifts — the other four parameters listed to them in a survey — don’t matter to Gujarati voters. When asked to comment on what weightage they gave to these five factors on a scale of 1 to 10, the caste and religion of the candidate bagged 8.27 points.

In a nationwide survey conducted by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO working for poll reforms, between January and April of this year across 527 out of 543 Lok Sabha constituencies of India, the voters in Gujarat gave least importance (4.58) to credentials of their candidate. Explaining the outcome of the survey carried out on citizens over the age of 18 or above, coordinator of Gujarat Election Watch Pankti Jog said: “We listed five parameters based on which people voted — party, candidate, PM/CM candidate, caste/religion and distribution of gifts.

Most points (8.27) were given to the caste and religion factor. This means that people vote for candidate belonging to their preferred caste or religion. Surprisingly, least points (4.58) were given to the candidate as voters considered party (6.69), PM/CM candidate (6.70) and gifts (5.77) more important. This shows how caste is a dominant factor in Gujarat.” Major General Anil Verma (Retd), head of National Election Watch (ADR), said: “We believe that people should vote for the best candidate.

A candidate’s credentials should take precedence over his/her political par-ty and cast or religion.” The survey, which had a sample size of 500 in each Lok Sabha constituency, also focused on the core issues of Gujarat. Out of 10 burning issues listed, voters in Gujarat listed employment opportunities (8.72 out of 10) as the most important issue bothering them. Better public transport (7.65), Empowerment of Women (7.60) and Security for women (7.41) were also marked as important issues.

Helpline for voters
Gujarat Election Watch has launched a helpline number to aid voters and citizens for the upcoming polls. The NGO has listed a mobile number 08320609853 where citizens can call and raise queries related to their name in the voters list or register their complaint, if any, related to conduct of polls.

© Association for Democratic Reforms
Privacy And Terms Of Use
Donation Payment Method