Skip to main content

Gujarat govt performance on development "below average": ADR voter survey

Counterview Desk
Conducted as part of its all-India survey, the high profile NGO Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has found that, in Gujarat, Better Employment Opportunities (42.68%), Drinking Water (37.12%), and Better Hospitals/Primary Healthcare Centres (30.23%) are the top three voters’ priorities. The survey also found that caste and religious considerations are key factors for 36% of voters in choosing candidates with criminal records.
About 61% of the voters surveyed were from rural areas, while 39% were from urban areas, an ADR report says, adding, 66% were males and 34% were females, 73% were from General category, 16% ST, 6% SC, and 5% OBC. The survey covered approximately 13,000 respondents across all 26 parliamentary constituencies of Gujarat.

Excerpts from the report:

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 influencing voting behaviour. This survey was conducted between October 2018 and December 2018, prior to the General Elections to the Lok Sabha 2019.
Focusing on Gujarat, this report provides an analysis of 10 most important governance issues as rated by the voters of Gujarat. These voters’ priorities are further examined in relation to the performance of the Government on those issues as perceived by the respondents.
The key objective of this perception assessment is to provide an improved understanding of the important expectations of voters from the Government and how they assess its performance. In addition, it seeks to fill a vital gap in contemporary times, namely, evidence-based research and action on governance.
For far too long we have depended entirely on ideology or the opinions of various experts. Though that is important, we also need to reflect on the priorities of the voters. These priorities and assessments will change over time, and hence there is a need to repeat this survey periodically.
Key findings
Better Employment Opportunities (42.68%), Drinking Water (37.12%), and Better Hospitals/Primary Healthcare Centres (30.23%) are the top three voters’ priorities in overall Gujarat. The performance of the government on all top three voters’ priorities of Better Employment Opportunities (2.33 on a scale of 5), Drinking Water (2.60), and Better Hospitals/Primary Healthcare Centres (2.62) was rated as Below Average.
In rural Gujarat, top most voters’ priorities were Availability of Water for Agriculture (46%), Agricultural Loan Availability (45%), and Agricultural Subsidy for Seeds/Fertilisers (44%). The performance of the government on rural voters’ priorities of Availability of Water for Agriculture (2.43 on a scale of 5), Agricultural Loan Availability (2.37), and Agricultural Subsidy for Seeds/Fertilisers (2.15) was rated as Below Average.
In addition, the government has performed poorly on Better Employment Opportunities (2.35) and Higher Price Realization for Farm Products (2.39) in rural Gujarat.
For the urban voters in Gujarat, the top most priorities were Traffic Congestion (49%), Noise Pollution (47%), and Better Employment Opportunities (45%). The performance of the government on urban voters’ priorities of Traffic Congestion (2.23 on a scale of 5), Noise Pollution (2.20), and Better Employment Opportunities (2.31) was rated as Below Average.
In addition, the government has performed poorly in Better Hospitals/Primary Health Centres (2.27) and Drinking Water (2.31) in urban Gujarat.
Voting behaviour
The survey tried to analyse the following aspects with respect to voting behaviour – (i) factors influencing voting behaviour, (ii) opinion regarding criminal candidates contesting in elections, and (iii) voter awareness regarding the role of crime and money.
To identify the factors that influence voting behaviour following queries were posed – “What are the reasons you vote for a candidate?” and “In an election, whose opinion mattered the most while deciding which candidate to vote for?”.
In order to comprehend voters’ opinion regarding criminal candidates contesting in elections, the two questions that were posed were – “Should someone with a criminal case be in Parliament or State Assembly?” and “Why do people vote for those with criminal records?”.
To assess voter awareness regarding the role of crime and money, the following questions were asked – “Do you know that distribution of cash/money/gifts etc. are illegal?”, “Are you aware of instances of distribution of cash/money/gifts/liquor in your constituency during the last election?”, and “Do you know that you can get information on criminal records of the candidates?”.
Highest percentage of voters said PM candidate was the most significant reason (Important: 42% and Very Important: 39%) in voting for a particular candidate in an election. This was followed by the Candidate’s Party (Important: 53% and Very Important: 25%) and the Candidate himself/herself (Important: 54% and Very Important: 14%).
For 20% voters, distribution of cash, liquor, gifts etc. was an important (14%) and very important (6%) factor in voting a particular candidate in an election.
While deciding which candidate to vote for in an election, 83% of Gujarat voters stated that their own opinion mattered the most, followed by voters for whom opinion of their Family Members (7%) and Spouse (5%) mattered the most.
A large number of voters (64%) knew that distribution of cash, gifts etc. are illegal. About 35% voters said that they were aware of instances where such inducements were offered to the voters in return for their votes. 98% voters felt that candidates with criminal background should not be in Parliament or State Assembly.Only 42% voters knew that they could get information on criminal records of the candidates.
In relation to voting candidates with criminal antecedents, 38% voters felt that people vote for such candidates because candidate otherwise does good work. 37% voters said people vote for such criminal candidates because he/she had spent generously in elections.
Caste and religious considerations are also key factors for 36% of voters in choosing candidates with criminal records. Other important factors in voting for criminal candidates were that voters’ felt cases against such candidates are not of serious nature (36%), voters’ were unaware about the criminal records of the candidate (36%) and because candidate is powerful (34%).
Conclusion
The Gujarat Survey Report 2018 points to the fact that voters’ priorities in Gujarat have been neglected by the government in power. This is quite clear from the fact that the government has performed poorly and underwhelmingly on almost all top 10 governance issues as rated by the voters of Gujarat.
The analysis of the trend of voters’ priorities and the government’s performance in Gujarat poses a few critical questions to the government and the legislators:
  • Are decisions related to public policies in different spheres like infrastructure, social and economic development etc. made in favour of certain sections of the society at the expense of overall social welfare?
  • Is there a need for the Government to reallocate/plan budget expenditure as per the voters’ priorities?
  • How can political parties be made more accountable in delivering on the promises made i the manifesto?
  • What policy changes need to be made to provide employment, better health care and drinking water to the deprived sections of the society?
The fact that the electorate has no role once the politician has been elected, allows the priority of the elected candidates to be determined by the political parties. It is then hoped that the electorate takes care to elect a better politician to represent them.
Political representation is about making constituents’ preferences present in politics and governance. Behind these ratings is the daily reality that people living in our country face. The ratings try to capture this and help inform our Government what that number means and how the Government is perceived by the voters of this country.

Comments

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

#StandWithStan: It's about Constitution, democracy and freedom of expression

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  It is more than three weeks now: On the night of October 8, 2020, the 83-year-old Jesuit Fr Stan Swamy was taken into custody by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) from his residence in Ranchi to an undisclosed destination. According to his colleagues, the NIA did not serve a warrant on Fr. Stan and that their behaviour was absolutely arrogant and rude.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

India among heavily impacted by Covid-19, China 'notoriously' evading transparency

By NS Venkataraman* With the year 2020 inevitably ending in the next few weeks, the thought amongst the people all over the world is whether the coming year 2021 will be free of Covid-19 (often dubbed as Wuhan virus, as it known to have spread from Wuhan in China).In the early 2020, many people thought that Covid-19 would be a localized affair in China but later on, it proved to be a global pandemic.

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".