Hindusthan Samachar
Banner 2 गुरुवार, अप्रैल 25, 2019 | समय 23:41 Hrs(IST) Sonali Sonali Sonali Singh Bisht

Is voter turn-out an indication of pro or anti-incumbency?

By HindusthanSamachar | Publish Date: Apr 12 2019 3:56PM
Is voter turn-out an indication of pro or anti-incumbency?
Lucknow,April 12(HS) The first day of polling which sealed the fate of over 1200 candidates in the country on Thursday saw the lowest voter turn-out in the neighbouring state of Bihar. West Bengal,on the other hand recorded the highest voter turn-out-- 81 per cent.What does it signify? The answer is not the same in every section.Opinion is divided.There is a group which believes that high turn-out means that anti-incumbency factor has come into play.Voters in that state are not happy with the ruling party.They want some other party to rule the state and at the Centre. People in West Bengal have become disillusioned with the Mamata government and the intensive campaign by the BJP against "didi" has paid.Her "dharna" in favour of some officials has not been liked by voters in general,claimed a Prime Minister Narenda Modi supporter. Eighteen states and two union territories went to polls yesterday out of which it was only West Bengal where more than 80 per cent voters exercised their franchise. The anti-BJP elements will not agree."People in general love Mamata Di.It is because of love for her that more and more voters came out to vote",volunteered a leader here. Lower turn-out can be attributed,according to him, to a sense of futility that their votes will not make any difference.Also that they have a dislike for the system.It is undesirable. There have been efforts in the past and also this year to increase voter turnout which,too,might have contributed to higher vote percentage. It is a reversal of the trend witnessed in the past. A new trend has emerged since 2014.Voting percentage has been steadily rising. Seven states out of the total 18 where polling was held recorded 70 per cent and above voting.North-eastern states performed much better than many northern states. Manipur and Nagaland ,for example, recorded 78 per cent voting. Andhra Pradesh in the south was five per cent below at 73. Voting percentage was lower in six other states but much above Bihar,Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. Those in the sixty per cent and above brackets were UP,Assam and Telangana. Bihar performed the worst in less than 60 per cent category which had two other states in the list.While the percentage was 57 in Chhattisgarh,it was 55 in Maharashtra. Bihar was poor last with 53.5 per cent. Did anti-incumbency sentiment not work there?Not necessarily. Weather and other factors might have kept voters home, an SP-BSP-RLD alliance supporter guessed. Political pundits say that there is no conclusive evidence to prove that high voter-turn out was because of disillusonment with the incumbent government.Nor is lower voter-turn out an indication of support to it. A study made by an agency a decade ago had also made the same point. HS/RN
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