Even as the Punjab election verdict constitutes a clear rejection of the Congress State government by voters, it wasn’t just the Congress that the voters were angry with. They were almost equally angry with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre. The Lokniti-CSDS post-poll survey in the State found dissatisfaction with the performance of the Narendra Modi government during the last three years to be nearly as high as the dissatisfaction with the Congress government’s five-year tenure.
Even though most voters ended up voting solely on the performance of the State government (58% did) and not that of the Modi government’s (8%), the BJP and the Amarinder Singh alliance was simply unable to capitalise on the dissatisfaction with the Congress government because of its own unpopularity.
Not only were voters dissatisfied with the Modi government, but the dissatisfaction among voters with the Congress government’s five years was more on account of Amarinder Singh’s four-and-half-year tenure and less due to Charanjit Channi’s six-month tenure.
The survey was conducted using face-to-face interviews at the elector’s home after voting had taken place in constituencies that were randomly selected — from February 21 to February 28 in Punjab. The sampling design adopted was multi-stage systematic random sampling (SRS). The constituencies were randomly selected using the probability proportional to size method. Thereafter, four polling stations within each of the sampled constituencies were selected using the SRS method. In each polling station, 40 voters were randomly sampled from the electoral roll using the SRS method. Of these 40, 26 interviews were targeted. The interviews were conducted face-to-face at electors’ homes after voting had taken place in their area. The questionnaire designed for the interviews was a standardised semi-structured one. Interviews lasted about 15-20 minutes on average. The achieved raw sample has been weighted by gender, religion, locality, and caste group based on Census 2011 data. The final data sets have also been weighted by the actual vote shares secured by the major parties and alliances that contested the elections in each State. All analysis here has been presented on the weighted data sets.