The Hindu-CSDS-Lokniti Punjab post-poll survey 2022

Development and change were two important voting determinants in Punjab

Voters queue up to cast their ballot at a polling station in a village on the outskirts of Amritsar on February 20, 2022.

Voters queue up to cast their ballot at a polling station in a village on the outskirts of Amritsar on February 20, 2022. | Photo Credit: NARINDER NANU

Against the backdrop of overall dissatisfaction with both the Union and State governments, and in view of the anger towards the two main parties, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Congress, it is interesting to see how the overall disenchantment of the Punjab voter translated into identifying specific issues as the most important ones.

Development emerged as the most important voting issue. As per the CSDS-Lokniti post-poll study, close to half the respondents said they considered development as the main issue while casting vote. With regard to development, the people of Punjab did not imply one single issue but the package or a range of issues, including access to education and health facilities.

However, the second most mentioned issue was mauka (chance) to a new party or badlaav (change), cited by one-fifth of the respondents with spontaneity.

The findings also suggest that those who were willing to give a chance to a new party, a little over three in four have voted for AAP. Another one-tenth said they assessed the work done by the incumbent government, and those who considered this issue, a little over two-fifths voted for the Congress (the incumbent). Among those who saw development and unemployment as an issue, the AAP got more support (Table 1). Though in the spontaneous first response, issues of unemployment and inflation were not among the top three responses as voting consideration, when the respondents were asked about these issues one by one, unemployment and inflation topped the list.

More than four in five voters considered these issues as very important while making their vote choice. Nonetheless, a similar proportion also considered the issue of development as important. The issues of corruption and drugs were also considered very important while voting.

Corruption charges

The corruption charges against SAD Ministers maligned its image among common Punjabis. The search by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the nephew of Charanjit Singh Channi in an alleged illegal sand mining case, before the election dented the image of Mr. Channi too. On the other hand, the issue of drugs affected the SAD’s political future negatively due to the alleged engagement of their big leaders in drug dealing. The issue of sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib was also very important for seven out of 10 voters while voting. Only three-fifths (59%) considered farmers’ movement and close to half considered the issue related to farming as a voting issue.

Jyoti Mishra is a Research Associate at Lokniti-CSDS; Jatinder Singh is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, Panjabi University, Patiala

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Printable version | May 14, 2022 11:26:24 pm |