By Anubhuti Vishnoi
Madhya Pradesh is faced with probably the highest levels of discontentment amongst the states that go to polls later this year and the angst level is highest in the 18-30 age group in the state, Congress internal data assessments show.
There is also a surprisingly high resentment level in the youth against the incumbent government even in urban areas which are largely considered BJP strongholds, as per analysis by the Congress Data Analytics department.
Praveen Chakravarty who heads the department says that their assessments of public data and comprehensive household level surveys they are conducting, hint at a near absolute majority for the Congress in the poll going states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh
“I will be very surprised if we do not win an absolute majority in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh”, Praveen Chakravarty told ET.
Data collected across various levels from electoral and vote share statistics to constituency demographics, indicate high levels of despondency in various states which clearly point to an ‘open field’ in 2019 rather than walkthrough for the BJP, as many claim.
“There are few trends that are incontrovertible, that you can see from the data- despondency is clearly there. I don’t know why- some people will say they are disappointed, some will say they feel deceived by the promises. I don’t get into the whys. But the signs are that there is certainly one line that is going down. It is very very clear at least in the states of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh. The only surprise will be if we do not win an absolute majority”, Chakravarty told ET.
Madhya Pradesh, in fact, is throwing up surprises.
“If anything, Madhya Pradesh would be the most disturbed with the establishment. Here, the 18-30 bracket is where the angst is the highest and support for the Congress also the highest- which is not normally what you see. Could it be because of jobs? One would think so because that tends to become the most important issue with this bracket. The other important thing I noticed that in urban areas, the support for the Congress is very high. That’s why I am so confident about Madhya Pradesh”, Chakravarty explained.
The Congress has in fact taken the cue from the Data Analytics department and is already at work shaping a campaign strategy for Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan that will hold out the promise of a job assurance or an unemployment allowance for the 18-35 age group.
The overall changing electoral scenario is in fact ‘uncannily similar’ to what happened to the UPA between 2009 to 2014, Chakravarty points out.
“In 2013, UPA’s imputed Lok Sabha seats tally after a series of assembly elections was down from 206 to 103. Similarly, the BJP Lok Sabha tally has slid from 282 in 2014 to 201 in 2018 after several assembly elections. And we still have MP, Chhatisgarh to go to polls. So, to me data says that 2019 is a very wide open game”, he says.
Things, however, do not look as optimistic if simultaneous polls come into play. Over 70% voters tend to vote similarly in case of simultaneous polls, Chakravarty says.
“There is research I have done and written about earlier which says that there is evidence to show that voters tend to vote alike for both Lok Sabha and Vidhan sabha when they are held simultaneously. I am not saying voters cannot differentiate. I am sure voters can differentiate but when elections are held simultaneously voters tend to vote the same party- as many as 77% voters tend to do so”, he points out.
Published on 03 July, 2018 in The Economics Times