The development agenda theme which centered on job creation during the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 seems to be the priority of voters in Tamil Nadu, this time as well, ahead of the upcoming state assembly elections.
Both the rural and urban population of Tamil Nadu, across constituencies, have voted the availability of better employment opportunities as their top-most priority, according to a survey conducted by the Association of Democratic Reforms.
The study was conducted to ascertain what the voters really want from the government and provided a platform to the voters to rate the performance of the government on issues they considered important. The extensive study was conducted by reaching out to more than 16,000 respondents in each of the 234 constituency seats by the non-political think tank.
While availability of agricultural loan, better employment opportunities and electricity for agriculture were the top three priorities of the rural voters, for the urban population availability better employment opportunities was the most important issue, followed by issues pertaining to noise pollution and drinking water.
About 68% of the rural respondents have said that agriculture and related issues like agricultural loans and availability of electricity and water were their priorities. While around 24% of them called for better rods and public transport, only 15% expressed healthcare to be their main concern. For the rural population, however, issues like reservation in jobs and education, corruption, terrorism, law and order ranked very low on their priorities list.
The rural population rated the performance of the government worst in the availability of agricultural loans, and better employment opportunities with them occupying 26th and 27th position, earning high disapproval from the voters. The respondents judged that the performance of the government was better in areas related to fertilizer subsidy for agriculture, sand and stone mining, and water for agriculture.
Interestingly, noise pollution, along with water and air pollution that featured in the rock-bottom of the rural priority list, occupied the second and seventh spot, as per the preferences of the urban voters. Traffic congestion, better roads and health care were also considered important by the urban population. They also considered higher price realization for farm products and electricity for agriculture and availability of agricultural loans as the least of their priorities.
The urbanites rated the performance of the government in traffic congestion and noise pollution as the worst and rated the performance of the government in school education, and availability of electricity for domestic consumption and terrorism as good.