An ADR survey, comprising 16,000 respondents, lists what voters want from the government and its performance on key issues
GN Bureau | April 27, 2016
Agriculture loans, employment and electricity for agriculture are the three top priorities for rural voters in Tamil Nadu. This was inferred from a survey conducted by non-political organisation, Association for Democratic Reforms. Comprising 16,000 respondents in all the constituencies of the southern state, the survey aimed to find out what voters really want from the government and how they rate its performance on issues important to them. Tamil Nadu goes to polls on May 16 this year.
Of the people interviewed in rural areas, 24.75 percent said that availability of agriculture loan was the top priority for them. The next major priorities were better employment opportunities with 22.88 percent respondents vouching for it, followed by electricity for agriculture at 20.72 percent.
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Roads and transport, polluted water sources, water for agriculture, agriculture inputs like seeds and fertilizers and health facilities were the other priorities. Interestingly, issues related to reservation for jobs, education, terrorism, strong military, corruption, law and order were not the main priorities for rural voters.
The voters were also asked to rate performance of the government on the same issues. Two priority areas – agriculture loan availability and better employment opportunities – also turned out to be the ones on which rural voters felt the government performed the worst.
There were some priority issues where the government’s performance was relatively good. These were hospitals and primary health centres, water for agriculture and sand stone quarrying and mining. As per ADR’s interpretation, sand stone quarrying and mining may be an environmental hazard but people may have supported it due to the employment generated.
The rural voters, however, rated the government’s performance high on issues that were not important to them such as terrorism and strong military, though only 2.65 percent and 1.16 percent of the sample rated these issues as important.
Urban voters, meanwhile, had different priorities. For them employment was the highest priority getting 23.59 percent of affirmation. The other two major priorities were noise pollution (21.82 percent) and drinking water (20.69 percent). These issues, however, did not get a good ranking in terms of government’s performance to handle them, especially noise pollution which was at the bottom. Health care, roads and traffic congestion were some other priorities for the urban voter.
The best performance made by the government was on terrorism, strong military and ration on the PDS system. However, the percent of urban respondents who chose these issues was low at 5.5 percent, 4 percent and 3.24 percent respectively.
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