The Times of India
New Delhi
National voters survey: What people want
The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Daksh came together to conduct a survey of over 250,000 people across 525 Lok Sabha constituencies — perhaps the largest-ever such exercise in any one country.

TOI brings you the issues people thought were most important, according to the survey. Corruption, interestingly, was not among the top 10!


It is rated as the most important issue across most divides - gender, age, wealth categories, rural and urban. This is hardly surprising given the phase of jobless growth India has been going through in recent years. However, it is not necessarily the most important issue in every state. In fact, there are even states in which it is not rated among the ten most important issues.

In Kerala and Karnataka, this is not among the 10 top issues


Like jobs, drinking water is an issue that cuts across most divides. Interestingly though, it ranks second in urban areas but third in rural ones. Similarly, people from the high-wealth category rank it somewhat lower than those from relatively less well-off backgrounds. This is also true of very young voters as compared to the slightly older ones.

It's the top issue in states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Delhi, but not in the top 10 in Kerala


Unlike jobs and drinking water, how important roads are ranked as an issue differs from segment to segment. For instance, it is the second top issue for rural respondents but only the seventh most important one for urban residents. Not surprisingly, it also ranks lower for those in the high wealth category than for those from lower economic strata.

It's the top issue in Maharashtra and Rajasthan, but ranks only 10th in Kerala and 8th in Punjab


Its ranking as an issue varies quite a lot across different categories of respondents, though it remains in the top 10 in most cases. Surprisingly, it ranks as high as second for high-wealth individuals, an indication perhaps that good mass transit systems could reduce private vehicles significantly.

This ranks no. 2 as an issue in Gujarat, but is surprisingly not in the top 10 in Uttar Pradesh


While it remains an important issue for almost all categories of those surveyed, it is clearly a bigger issue in villages than in towns and cities, interestingly more so for men than women and also less important an issue for those on either extreme of the wealth range than for those in the middle. There are also states in which it doesn't figure among the top 10 issues at all.

It's the top issue in Bihar and ranked second in UP, but in states like Punjab, Karnataka and MP it is not among the 10 biggest issues


The lack of quality healthcare facilities obviously agitates nearly everybody, but the rankings show clearly how some have less access to good hospitals than others. It's clearly more of an issue in villages than towns, among the poor than among the well-off and among the older lot than in younger respondents.

This is ranked 2nd as an issue in MP and third in Bihar, but in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Kerala it does not rank among the top 10


Another issue on which the divide between the urban and rural areas shows up, with the latter clearly feeling the lack of good quality schools much more acutely. Across most categories, however, this issue ranks somewhere between 7th and 10th. The differentiation across states is more marked.

Among all states, Karnataka and Maharashtra ranked this the highest at no. 3


Yet again, rural respondents rank it higher than urban ones and, somewhat surprisingly, men rank it a more important issue than women. Across states, there is a very wide variation with some ranking it as high as 3rd and others not putting it in the top 10.

Predictably, it ranks as high as no.3 in UP, while in many others including most southern states, it is not in the top 10


Once again, there is a visible rural-urban divide, with city and town dwellers ranking this the sixth most important issue but rural voters placing it 10th. There is, however, no real gender divide on this issue. The mid-wealth category seems less concerned about it than either of the two extremes.

It ranks as the topmost issue in Andhra Pradesh and as high as no.3 in Gujarat and no. 4 in Kerala, MP and Punjab


Nowhere is the urban-rural divide as clear as this. In urban areas, this is ranked the third most important issue. In contrast, rural respondents do not place it in the top 10 issues. Interestingly, however, the two genders do not rate the issue very differently.

This issue is not in the top 10 in many states, but ranks as high as no.4 in Andhra, Maharashtra and Gujarat

Why people vote 

What are the factors that determine who people vote for? The ADR-Daksh survey checked it out and found that candidates matter more than parties or PM candidates. Contrary to the popular notion, factors like caste and freebies seem to sway "general" voters more than those from SC/ST or OBC. 

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