“The government’s performance score on the top-10 voters’ priorities is below average… On Better Employment
Opportunities, which is the topmost voters’ priority, the performance of the government has been rated as one of the worst (2.15 out of 5),” the survey said.
Defence and military issues were low on the list of both urban and rural voters. A total of 44.21 per cent of rural voters saw
Opportunities’ as their biggest priority. A “strong defence/military” was a priority for 3.02 per cent of rural voters, while terrorism got 3.34 per cent.
The percentage of urban voters who identified military issues and terrorism as key issues was 5.18 per cent and 4.1 per cent, respectively. Voters rated the government’s handling of both issues as below average.
“It is quite clear from the top-10 Voters’ Priorities that Indian voters prioritise employment and basic amenities (healthcare, drinking water, better roads, etc) above all governance issues (including terrorism and strong defence/military),” said the report.
The survey was conducted before the Pulwama attack on February 14, 2019, when a vehicle laden with explosives killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel.
The incident led to escalation in tension between India and Pakistan, which included military action, raising tension in the region. Some observers have suggested that this has changed the perception of the government favourably.
Agricultural issues account for four of the top-10 list of priorities. They include issues related with availability of water, agricultural loans, prices and subsidies.
“The situation on the ground is that voters think agriculture is in a bad state. They feel it is important for the country for the agriculture sector to be in a better state,” said Jagdeep Chhokar, Founder Member of the Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch.