The Haryana government has neglected the voter priorities and “performed poorly and underwhelmingly” on top 10 governance issues, the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) said in a report Saturday. The report is based on a survey that the ADR conducted in Haryana’s 10 Lok Sabha constituencies. Haryana will elect its members of parliament for the 17th Lok Sabha on May 12.
As per the ADR, it surveyed 500 people in each constituency – 63 per cent from rural areas and 37 per cent were from urban areas. Of this 74 per cent were males and remaining females. The caste wise break-up shows 70 per cent voters surveyed were from general category, 21 per cent SCs and 9 per cent from OBC category.
The survey found that better employment opportunities (44.61 per cent), agricultural loan availability (40.36 per cent) and higher price realization for farm products (33.80 per cent) were the top three voter priorities in the state.
The performance of the government on all these three voter priorities was below average. The voters gave the government a rating of 2.14 on a scale of five in better employment opportunity, 2.08 on agricultural loan availability and 2.07 on higher price realization for farm products. A score of three is considered average and one is bad.
“The Haryana Survey Report-2018 points to the fact that voter priorities in Haryana have been neglected by the government in power. This is quite clear from the fact that the government has performed poorly and underwhelmingly on all top 10 governance issues as rated by the voters,” the report reads.
In rural Haryana, voters rated the top three priorities as agricultural loan availability (64 per cent), higher price realization for farm products (54 per cent) and availability of water for agriculture (49 per cent). Here too, the government performance was rated below average with agriculture loan availability being rated 2.08, higher price realization for farm products 2.07 and availability of water for agriculture at 2.15, as per the ADR report.
It further specified that the government performed poorly in providing agriculture subsidy for seeds and fertilizers (1.92), and electricity for agriculture (2.06) in rural Haryana.
In addition, reservation for jobs and education formed a priority for 28 per cent voters surveyed while empowerment of women and security was talked about by 27 per cent. The government got a rating of 2.56 for reservation for jobs and 2.48 for women empowerment and security.
For urban voters, the top three priorities were again better employment opportunities (56 per cent) followed by traffic congestion (55 per cent), and water and air pollution (50 per cent). The government was rated 1.91 on better employment opportunities, 1.92 in traffic congestion and 1.94 for air pollution.
“The government performed poorly in better hospitals/primary healthcare centres, which was rated 1.94 and noise pollution, which was rated 1.97 in urban Haryana,” the report said.
The ADR also surveyed the factors influencing voting behaviour. According to the survey, the highest percentage of voters said that the chief ministerial candidate was the most significant reason for voting. At least 39 per cent voters said the issue was important, while 48 per cent said it was very important in voting for a particular candidate.
This was followed by the political party being another key reason to vote for a candidate with 51 per cent saying it was important and 28 per cent saying it was very important. Interestingly, the survey also found 21 per cent of voters saying that distribution of cash, liquor, gifts was an important factor in voting for a particular candidate. At the same time, 70 per cent of voters knew that distribution of cash and gifts was illegal.
The report stated that 44 per cent voters revealed that they were aware of instances where such inducements were offered to the electors in lieu of their votes. The survey also revealed that 98 per cent of voters felt that candidates with criminal background should not be in Parliament or state Assembly but at the same time, 38 per cent said that people vote for criminal candidates because they feel “the candidate is powerful”.
“This survey is a systematic and scientific attempt to study the gap between governance demands of the voters of India and the delivery of the respective governments as perceived by the voters. This survey is in no way an attempt to appreciate or denigrate any government or political party or individual or any other organization or institution,” stated Professor Jagdeep Chhokar, founder member of ADR.