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Voting Patterns


Soon, all the suspense will be over and the people’s verdict will be out in Uttarakhand. It is generally believed that it has been a tough electoral contest and this is confirmed by the tension visible on politicians’ faces. While they are all claiming victory, no one has any solid facts to bear out their assumptions. Possibly, some well conducted exit poll might give an indication of what is to come, but the lack of a visible wave has undermined certainty.

It can be safely said, however, that without strong sentiment for any one of the parties, matters will have been decided constituency-wise. As most legislators belonged to the BJP, much depends on their individual performances. It must be said at the same time that the representatives of the Congress did not exactly distinguish themselves as the Opposition. With the passing away of Dr Indira Hridayesh, it was left only to Harish Rawat to carry the flag and he was not even a member of the House. It must also be recalled that two important years of the ruling party’s term were consumed by Covid and its fallout, and that fact will possibly have an impact. The farmers’ agitation will also undoubtedly have a role to play in some of the constituencies in the plains.

A close and intelligent examination of the verdict will throw up what mattered to the voters. As such, the government to come will need to chart its future course based on these factors. There are many who strongly believe that the rotational pattern of throwing out incumbent parties is the natural inclination of the Uttarakhandi voter. Any confirmation of this belief cannot be good for the state’s well-being, as MLAs will then try and milk their five year term for personal benefit rather than depend upon good performance as the way to get re-elected.

Every government in the state has faced some kind of a major natural disaster, be it an earthquake, flooding, the recent pandemic or even the Ukraine evacuation. Which of these had the best response to the challenge? Would that performance be taken for granted by the people or has there been some appreciation of work well done? Will the corrupt and manipulative politicians be culled and the good performers awarded, or vice versa? How much of a role will the votes of women and the youth have played, as these will certainly make a difference? These are some of the issues to be considered, even as one celebrates or laments the verdict!