Election surveys, an analysis

Come elections, come surveys of which there has been a surfeit of them nowadays .The following analysis is based on the conclusions reached by them regarding the prospective voting preferences of the voters belonging to various groups such as farmers, workers, youth, unemployees et al. 

People usually compare the benefits they have received earlier with the benefits received during the present dispensation. Congress and BJP do not have any such record . 

Percentage of people supporting the present Government such as employees and retired employees is very much skewed; it is not realistic. The support of vaishyas is also in the same vein. This is because the competitors for vysyas are reddys in business so how will they support Congress?

The traditional vote bank of BJP or brahmins are vysyaas. It has been known as baniya Brahman party. But that is only with reference to North India not South India and cannot be relied on in the context of the demographics of our State.

Majority of brahmin community consisting of the pujaris(Vaidics) have received good benefits from KCR and hence will support BRS. In any case the percentage of votes of Brahmins and vysyas put together does not cross 10% and their ability to influence the final vote is very very minimal. 

The basis should be what were the expectations of each category of people and the difference between what they got during the last government in comparison to their expectations. According to the surveys, the percentage of the people who do not support the BRS does not cross event 20% and these include youth, unemployees, vysyas.

So far there is no evidence flowing from the voting patterns of the last elections that shows that voting is done on caste basis in Telangana. 

If we take the voting preferences of SC STs who form 30% of the population into consideration, they usually vote on the basis of the benefits they receive rather than on the basis of the caste because there are very few candidates from their communities who are contesting the elections. Pravin Kumar's nascent party presumably funded from outside according to Rajendra Malhotra, the co-author of the book Breaking India is least expected to monopolise the dalit votes what with the highly divisive loyalties among the community. 

Besides even grudgingly it has to be accepted that these two communities consisting of majority of beneficiaries of government's general and specially targetted schemes would not take risk of replacing their benefactor with proven record of helping them albeit minimally. Compared to the benefits given to them by the previous governments, the benefits given by the BRS are definitely more.

The support of minority and communist parties will only be of value when the election results turn out to be hung. In that event, of course, minorities and communists will again support the BRS. Such is the pathetic condition of communists, alas!

Final result of the election will be influenced by the difference in the expectations and their fulfillment by the present government by all the different categories of people who will vote. This is very difficult to quantify as the samples chosen by all the surveys without exception did not even try to collect the data regarding this significant factor of satisfaction differential vis-a-vis expectations.

In any case, the voters' attitude is most likely to be influenced by the cash, freebies, alcohol that will be supplied before the election day. On this count also, the BRS fares better because of its extraordinary self confessed resources as unprofessionally divulged by Sardesai.

But even the BRS, despite its resources and the support of the government machinery will flounder if the dissatisfaction of large sections of people is high. 

But a survey conducted by several random disinterested groups and collated and analysed by the channel Mirror also showed that the groups forming major chunk of the voting population such as farmers, workers including gig workers in the cities have expressed support to the BRS in the range of 50 to 70 percent. That augurs well for the party.

The benefits offered by the Congress have been already offered by the BRS. So people tend to go by the attitude of a bird hand is worth two in bush.

There is no gainsaying the fact that there is anti-incumbency but not to such an extent as to make the people prefer an alternative.

A majority of the voters even including the highly educated ones in India do not understand much less follow the complex governance patterns like in the affluent countries and are hence mostly weighed by the sentiments such as religion, region, culture and freebies. A powerful leader is required to play on the sentimental sensibilities of the people. Even on this count KCR has no match in the opposition . 

From the foregoing one can opine that the voters here are always led by a leader and look to one. Not projecting a single person as a leader by the Congress and the BJP is to their disadvantage. 

In the recent past, the opposition, as a bait and the ruling parties in defence, are propagating that they would elect their leader from lower caste or more representation would be given to lower caste leaders in the cabinet to ensure empowerment as if that will be panacea for all the problems. Good and visionary leadership is not a function of the caste of the leader. Experience shows that leaders' caste did not translate into the empowerment of the people of that caste. 

In any case the variables are so many that it is not easy to come to a definite conclusion based on surveys that are highly limited and confusing. 

Let us wait with fingers crossed and not hope for any positive tectonic changes in the efficacy of governance whoever forms the government as the hunger of winning politicians is directly proportional to the frequency of the wins.

Dr M H Prasad Rao

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post