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Specific bijli-paani counted more than generic vikas

Evidence gathered from post-poll survey shows that there were multiple issues which were playing in minds of voters this election.

New Delhi | Updated: February 12, 2015 10:16 am
kejri-bedi-main In a comparison between Kejriwal and Bedi on important issues, the former was much ahead of the latter on all issues except women’s security.

It can be safely said that Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi were not the sole distinguishing factor between the Aam Aadmi Party and BJP. While the individual personality of these leaders did matter for the electorate, what also mattered was the distinct set of issues and promises that the two leaders and their parties were standing for. While the BJP’s campaign theme focused largely on the achievements of the central government and Modi’s promise of making Delhi a world-class city, it was the Aam Aadmi Party that raised specific issues like bijli-paani and micro-level corruption while concentrating on local matters.

Evidence gathered from the post-poll survey conducted by CSDS shows that there were multiple issues which were playing in the minds of the voters in this election.
Despite the Modi government’s claims of having reduced prices of daily-use commodities in the last few months, 17 per cent of the voters considered it the most important election issue. The drastic reduction in fuel prices might or might not have led to a trickle-down effect, but the voters were clearly not impressed. More than half the respondents felt that prices of food items had increased in the last few months.

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Corruption was the most important issue for 17 per cent of the voters. In the open-ended question, 15 per cent of the respondents clearly mentioned cheaper and better bijli-paani as the most important election issue. Development or simply “vikas” was an issue for a relatively lower proportion of the electorate as compared to other recent assembly elections. This does not indicate lowering importance of development but should be simply seen as the Delhi voter expressing a desire for development in specific terms (when he/she says “bijli-paani”) rather than a subjective idea (when he/she says “vikas”).

Women’s security was the most important issue for 8 per cent of the voters. This is marginally higher than the response received for a similar question in earlier surveys conducted by CSDS.

The sentiment for cheaper electricity and water in some ways affirms how the AAP was successful in setting the agenda this election. In a comparison between Kejriwal and Bedi on important issues, the former was much ahead of the latter on all issues except women’s security. It is evident that a large proportion of AAP supporters too thought that Bedi was more suitable for ensuring women’s security.

By: Anuradha Singh

Anuradha Singh is associated with Lokniti, CSDS

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  1. A
    A Patel
    Feb 12, 2015 at 7:38 am
    The AAP government has 1825 days until the next elections. It promised 500 new schools, 20 new colleges, 15,00,000 new CCTV cameras, and 200,000 new toilets. This equates to a new school every 3.65 days, a new college every 91.25 days, a CCT camera installed every 2 minutes, a new public toilet every 13 minute. This funding will need to come after giving 50% electricity rate cut subsidy, cut in VAT, free water and free WiFi. Be ready for a joy ride.
    1. N
      Nagaraj Ma.
      Feb 12, 2015 at 10:46 am
      I am a strong supporter of BJP...If Kejriwal can get things done with so ease why not so mighty BJP. It is already a year now for this Govt...it is very slow in all actions....Except for Jan Dhan and Petrol price decrease...did not see much action.Is Modi only works for 15 hrs a day rest all other ministers are working hard??? or hardly working? Have they lost focus? I am getting disappointed.
      1. S
        Srinivasan Ramachandran
        Feb 12, 2015 at 6:44 am
        I have an advice for Kejriwal. Now that you know the mood of Delhi voters ( with full of saliva in their mouth for freebies) on realising that you can't fulfilling all your promises come up with new freebies like 'Free Hair cutting for one and all including head shave, Facial for ladies etc etc to reach everyone so that you can come back to power next time easily. A word of caution!!. Public anger will take any shape and always remember of your election symbol" Sweeping Broom"!!
        1. S
          Feb 13, 2015 at 12:04 am
          Problem is with the infrastructure. It cant be corrected overnight. Modi has taken steps in a right direction by going Solar and Nuclear. It may take some time to yield results but dont it expect it to happen overnight.
          1. W
            Feb 13, 2015 at 9:23 am
            AAP will bankrupt the Delhi Govt and will demand Central Govt to bail them out. If Centre did not intervene it will blame BJP for not bailing them out, conduct few dharnas to distract from the real issue
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