Changing electoral landscape of India

Monday 09 December 2013

The emergence of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi and the increasingly higher turnout of women and youth voters in the state elections point to less-talked-about changes sweeping acros India


Aam Aadmi Party’s metamorphosis from a civil movement into political party is not a lone instance; such experiments started in rural India
Author: Richard Mahapatra
Symbolism is essential in politics. A year ago when the anti-corruption campaign led by Anna Hazare split up after one of the key leaders, Arvind Kejriwal, decided to join electoral politics, the world’s largest democracy faced a sea of questions. Since then, Kejriwal, and his new political party–Aam Admi Party (AAP)–made regular and symbolic public display of their might. Whether choosing Delhi as the first place to contest elections or getting the jhadu (broom) as the election symbol, AAP fast became an “aam” (common) symbol of public resentment against almost everything ailing us.
Political parties are fine tuning their campaigns, policies to gain more votes of women, who are exercising their franchise in increasing numbers
Author: Richard Mahapatra
This is a trend that politicians can't afford to ignore. The share of woman in overall voters is increasingly sharply. What’s more, women are also voting in more numbers than before. In the four states that went to polls in the last one month–Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Delhi–participation of women voters has been much more than earlier elections. Analysts interpret the huge turnout in the latest state elections is because of increasing number of women voters.
Are the youth losing confidence in free market?
Author: Richard Mahapatra
The world was never so young. The population in the age group of 15 to 24 is the largest ever at 1.2 billion. Arguably, it is not a demographic dividend but a windfall. Meanwhile, there is no ebb in protests across continents and economic spectrum under the leadership of the young. From Tunisia to the US, 2011 was a year of protests and these continue in 2012. Most of these protests revolve around demands that do not hint of a dividend. Though protesters are demanding basic freedom in many places, there is one overarching issue: economic security, or simply put, employment. Their voices seek something more than jobs; they ask questions about the prevailing growth model and socio-economic justice.
The free medicine scheme in Rajasthan may benefit Congress
Author: Kundan Pandey
Of the many poll sops that Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot doled out in the past two years, the one scheme that seems to have struck the right chord with voters is the initiative to give free essential medicines at government healthcare facilities. The Mukhyamantri Nishulk Dava Yojna, launched in 2011, has offered some hope to the incumbent Congress government, which is projected to be voted out of power in the December 1 elections.
Governments in power in the four major states that went to polls were running similar schemes, but not all registered a win
Author: Richard Mahapatra
A striking aspect of the four major states that went to polls end of this year is the populist programmes run by the governments in power. The Congress which was in power in Rajasthan and Delhi, and its rival party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), holding power in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, ran comparable programmes which were aimed at electoral benefits. Back of the envelope calculations for the period 2011-13 (till November) shows the four states spent close to Rs 35,000 crore on such schemes.
Party agendas
Parties’ promises on environment, development
Green talk by leaders
What environment means to them


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