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 under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Oxfam on WB project: ICT 'ineffective', privatised learning to worsen gender divide

By Rajiv Shah 
A top multinational NGO, with presence in several developed and developing countries, has taken strong exception to the World Bank part-funding Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project in six Indian states – Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha – for its emphasis on information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled approaches for teacher development, student assessment and digital platform for early childhood education.