Alpha Marathi poll puts development issue on top

MUMBAI: According to an opinion poll conducted by Alpha Marathi, Zee Network's regional channel, in association with Taleem Research Foundation, about 79 per cent voters in the State feel that development is one of the important issues in forthcoming elections in Maharashtra, followed by 73 per cent who feel unemployment is also an important issue.

The voters were asked to give their opinion on whether the seven issues listed in the questionnaire were important for the coming assembly elections. The poll was conducted in 36 assembly constituencies and about 3,590 voters were interviewed for the poll.

The rank order of important socio-economic and political issues in the forthcoming election mentioned by the voters is problems of development (78.9%), unemployment (72.8%), good governance (72.1%), suicide of farmers (64.8%) and starvation in the State (61.7%). The low priority issues include separation of Vidarbha State (25.8 %) and menace of terrorism in Maharashtra (33.8%).

Speaking on the announcement of the results, Alpha Marathi business head Nitin Vaidya said, "Alpha Marathi is a channel that prides itself on being in sync with the common people and his needs, we decided to undertake this opinion poll with the prime objective of getting to know the main issues which the electorate wants to be addressed. Whether the voters are inclined towards INC/ NCP ruling party and the likelihood of their returning them to power or to BJP/ Shiv Sena alliance."

One assembly constituency from each district was randomly selected to ensure proper estimation. In addition, one more assembly constituency from Greater Mumbai has been added to have a better representation of the urban voters. Care was also taken to ensure that the selected sample of 36 assembly constituencies had proportional representation of each political party that constituted 1999 Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, according to the release.

The poll will be conducted in three phases: pre- campaign, once the campaigning begins and finally right before the actual voting take place.

The complete outcome of the first phase of the opinion poll was telecast on Alpha Marathi TV on Saturday, 4 September, 2004 in a special hour-long programme JanadeshS with a repeat telecast on Sunday, 5 September, 2004.

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