Bhubaneswar, April 3 (LocalWire): While deciding which candidate to vote for in an election, a whopping 98% of Odisha voters thought people with criminal backgrounds shouldn’t be in parliament and state assembly, however 37% said it’s acceptable if the cases against them are not too serious.
Another prominent reason for voters (37%) to vote for criminal candidates is that candidate has spent generously in elections, said the study conducted by the NGO Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) to gauge people’s voting behaviour in the state.
Over 90 percent of voters also said that the candidate itself was the most significant reason for voting in an election, followed by the party 85% and the chief ministerial nominee 79%.
The survey had analyzed factors such as voters’ opinion regarding criminal candidates contesting elections and their awareness regarding role of crime and money.
While selecting a candidate, 86% voters thought their own opinion mattered most, 6% would seek the family members’ opinion and 5% spouses’ opinion, the study showed.
The survey also showed that 15% of people thought distribution of cash, liquor, gifts etc. was an important (10%) and very important (5%) factors in voting a particular candidate in an election.
Also, 85% of voters knew that distribution of cash and gifts etc. is illegal, and 50% of voters said they were aware of instances where such inducements were offered to voters in return for votes.
Over 40% voters knew that they could get information on criminal records of the candidates.
Thirty-six percent of voters felt that people vote for candidates with criminal records because they otherwise do good work. Caste and religious considerations are factors for 36% voters in choosing such candidates.
Another important factor in voting for a criminal candidate, was that he/she is powerful (36%), and because the voters don’t know about the criminal record (34%).