ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Shreyas SardesaiSubscribe to Shreyas Sardesai

Jharkhand Assembly Election

The Jharkhand assembly election saw the Bharatiya Janata Party and its poll partner, the All Jharkhand Students Union Party, secure an absolute majority by winning 42 seats. The absence of a united opposition; a lukewarm Congress; the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha ceding ground in Santhal Parganas; large-scale defections of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha legislators; and a record voter turnout ensured that the result went the BJP way. The party also benefi ted from its urban popularity, the consolidation of the Hindu vote and being in power at the centre.

BJP's Victory in Haryana

The Bharatiya Janata Party pulled off a win in Haryana despite never having had a significant support base in the state or projecting a specifi c leader as its chief ministerial candidate. Aided by infighting in the Congress and the ineptness of the Indian National Lok Dal, the BJP's strategy was to sell the benefit of having the same party in power at the centre and in the state. Barring Jat-dominated west Haryana, the Narendra Modi factor and a social coalition of brahmins, other upper castes and dalits saw it win support in all regions, especially in urban constituencies and among educated and upper-class voters. Yet, it is still early days, and the Congress could prove worrisome if the BJP does not make good on its promises.

Does Media Exposure Affect Voting Behaviour and Political Preferences in India?

Analysing the National Election Study data from 1996 to 2014, this paper examines the effect of media exposure on Indian elections to reach four main conclusions. First, in the last two decades, Indian electorates have been more exposed to the media than ever before. Second, in the 2014 elections, electorates with higher media exposure were more likely to vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party. Third, voters with higher media exposure were more likely to vote for the BJP in previous Lok Sabha elections as well, and, in that sense, the 2014 elections were no different. Fourth, media exposure influenced the political preferences of people. It also finds that electorates with higher media exposure were more likely to support economic liberalisation, but that it made no difference on social conservatism.

The Weakening of Electoral Anti-Incumbency

Anti-incumbency at the state level, or the tendency to vote out an incumbent state government, reached its peak in elections during the 1990s. In the 2000s there has been a reversal of this trend and a shift towards pro-incumbency or a tendency of voters to re-elect the ruling party at the time of elections.
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