A lot was made about the impact of social media in the last elections. The Modi campaign was credited with creating a convincing media blizzard which other parties failed to emulate. But did this really translate into actual seats? To answer that question, I look at party victories in Lok Sabha constituencies with high, medium and low impact of social media.
Thankfully, the good people at IRIS Knowledge Foundation had already classified the constituencies in these categories. The methodology is detailed in their report, it isn’t perfect but it will do for this post. 16o Constituencies are labelled as High Impact, 67 are labelled Medium Impact and 60 are termed Low Impact. The remaining 256 are termed No Impact and not considered for the purposes of this study.
It seems clear that the BJP took a much larger share of the pie in LS seats with a high social media impact. A direct co-relation to social media cannot be made. The BJP has traditionally done better in urban seats which have a high social media impact. However, part of the credit for its unprecedented performance in high impact seats must definitely lie with it’s extensive social media campaigning.
Yes, social media may seem constrained to certain populations right now. After all, 256 of the seats qualified as no-impact. However, there is strong evidence to suggest that a lot of power lies in good social media management. The methods of political campaigning are slowly shifting in India. The BJP definitely seems to have benefited from it. Other parties would do well to take note of this trend.
The Maharashtra state elections are fast approaching. Riding high on its Lok Sabha victory, the BJP-SHS combine is expected to unseat the 15 year old INC-NCP government. Today’s post looks at vote share data from the recent Lok Sabha and previous state elections. What does this data indicated for the upcoming ballot race?
Graph 1 looks at the change in number of Lok Sabha seats from 2009 to 2014 general elections. Graph 2 looks at the change in vote share between 2009 and 2014 elections. Graph 3 looks at the number of close contests won by each party in the 2009 state elections. A close contest is defined as a victory margin of less than 10%. A huge thanks to the Election Commission for all its wonderful data.
The INC-NCP combine won 75 of these close contests in the 2009 state elections. 85 seats had a victory margin of less than 5%. It is clear that even in 2009, the INC-NCP had a tough time retaining its power. The battle seems even more uphill now.
The recent Union Budget allotted 200 crore Rupees ($33 million dollars) to the dubiously named and environmentally problematic Unity Statue. This allocation is in addition to the amount allotted by the Gujarat state government. This is a huge turn back for a party which heavily criticized Mayawati for building statues in Uttar Pradesh.
Today’s post looks at 10 things that cost less than this statue. Women’s safety, climate adaptation and welfare of tribals all rank lower in budget priority. Click here for the full text of the Budget Speech.
The new budget is set to be unveiled next week and there is a lot of speculation on the direction it will take. The blog will do a series on the budget and it’s implications for the nation.
Today’s post takes a look at an oft overlooked aspect of the budget: public health expenditure. I take a look at statistics on the nature of the public health system in India. It is clear that the health care system in the country is ill equipped to care of the population. The state’s unwillingness to invest in health infrastructure is difficult to understand, given India’s consistently poor showing in health outcomes. It is clear that the government needs to allocate more resources towards creating an affordable health care system, especially for the poor.
Recently, Narendra Modi’s twitter account reached 5 million followers and he became the fourth-most followed political leader in the world. The PM has expressed his penchant for communication over Twitter and the party has encouraged BJP MPs to have a visible presence in social media.
It seemed only appropriate (and fun!) to take a look back at the first thirty days of the PM through Twitter. What does the PM talk to his Twitter followers about? I look at number of tweets by the PMO and an issue wise breakdown of the Tweets. Read the rest of this entry »
By now most people have read the leaked IB report indicting various NGOs in India for being ‘people- centric’ and for ‘questioning the Gujarat model of development’. This report and the consequent fall out got me thinking. Why is it that everyone from Modi to Sharad Pawar is beseeching us to not question the development mantra? And if development projects are all that they are made out to be why do people regularly protest them? Is it all a big conspiracy?
A Parliamentary democracy envisages a Parliament as the primary legislative body and as a major check on executive power. How true is this in the Indian context? In today’s post, I look at data on previous Lok Sabhas to test the quality of Parliamentary democracy in India. Read the rest of this entry »