NEW DELHI: Notwithstanding the BJP’s high-decibel pitch for Article 370, local employment and business is the topmost issue for the electorate of Maharashtra and Haryana in the October 21 Assembly elections, according to a IANS-CVoter poll survey.
At the same time, there is a big chunk of voters in the “Others/Can’t say” category, as reflected in the survey conducted between September 16 and October 16.
Both Haryana and Maharashtra are currently ruled by the BJP.
In Haryana, 28 per cent of those asked about the “Biggest issue for you at the moment” opted for the “Status of local employment/business”.
In Maharashtra, 23.1 per cent identified this as the biggest issue for them.
The status of water supply was second biggest issue for the voters in both the states. While in Haryana, 12.4 per cent of those surveyed said so, 18.4 per cent stated this in Maharashtra.
Condition of local roads stood third in the sample survey in these states, with 8.6 per cent identifying it as one of the biggest issues in Haryana and 14.1 per cent doing so in Maharashtra.
The issue of “condition of social/caste/religious harmony” figured very poorly in the survey, with only 0.9 per cent identifying it as one of the biggest issues in Haryana and a similar number doing so in Maharashtra.
In Haryana, only 0.4 per cent saw women security as one of the biggest issues while in Maharashtra, the issue had only 0.3 per cent votaries.
Status of law and order was found to be a big issue only by 0.9 per cent in Haryana and 0.3 per cent in Maharashtra.
Control on corruption in government was one of the biggest issues only for 3.1 per cent in Haryana and merely 1.4 per cent in Maharashtra.
The status of economy, which is the main poll plank of Opposition Congress in both the states, was a big issue only for 0.3 per cent in Haryana and 0.2 per cent in Maharashtra.
Control on price rise was a major issue for 4.3 per cent in Haryana and 4.1 in Maharashtra.
Significantly, the BJP’s main poll plank of abolition of special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under Article 370 did not figure among the biggest issues for the voters.
The BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been making a big pitch about the issue, saying that such a “bold” step could be taken only by a strong and decisive government.
The Congress, which is on a defensive on this issue, has been raking up the status of economy, which has been slowing down lately, to counter the BJP. The Congress has been particularly highlighting the job losses witnessed over the last several months.
In the survey, 30.3 per cent in Haryana and 19.1 per cent in Maharashtra opted for “Others/Can’t Say”.
Among other issues, status of electricity supply was big for 5.7 per cent in Haryana and 2.7 per cent Maharashtra.
The sample size of the survey in Haryana was 10,061 and 19,489 in Maharashtra.
Haryana has 90-member Assembly while the strength of the Maharashtra Assembly is 288.