Minor Projects

Booth Level Voting Pattern in Vadodara Rural and Urban Sites in the Elections of 2010

Centre for Culture and Development Minor ProjectElections in Gujarat state provide an interesting case study of the relative strength of individual and group behaviour and modern orientations in Gujarat politics which may have long-lasting impact on regional politics. More specifically, it can throw light on the nature, extent and limits of different caste and community voting as well as individual voting patterns as an effective factor in electoral behaviour.

Do primordial ties still influence voting behaviour of the individual voter? To what extent do individuals vote as individuals transcending caste and creed? To what extent has Indian democracy matured as far as electoral behaviour goes? These are some of the questions which we would like to investigate in this study by analysing booth level voting.

The following sites were studied in detail:

  1. 1. Five election wards (Nos. 5, 6, 7, 17 and 19) comprising part of Vadodara (East) of Vadodara
    2. Municipal Corporation (VMC) out of the total 25 election wards in VMC.
  2. 3. All twelve election wards of Dabhoi Municipality.
  3. 4. All election booths of Jabugam Village (Taluka Jetpur Pavi).
  4. 5. All election booths of Vadu Village (Taluka Padra).

Centre for Culture and Development Minor ProjectIn the local elections of 2010, no community voted en bloc for any one party. The votes of every community were split. The extent to which votes were split varied from one community to another and from one ward to another. The Muslim votes were split between BJP and INC. Nearly 25 per cent Muslim voters voted for BJP, which is a new phenomenon in this election.

 

Centre for Culture and Development Minor ProjectIn the areas where 'moderate' Muslim voters are in a majority among total Muslim voters, most of them voted for BJP, while areas where 'less moderate' Muslims are in a majority among the Muslim voters, most had voted for INC. The relationship between the Scheduled Tribes (ST) and INC has generally been considered very close. In this election, it seems to have fallen asunder.

 

Centre for Culture and Development Minor ProjectBy and large there is no evidence of a clear-cut identity along communal lines among or between voters on the one hand and voters and the candidate on the other. The relation is far more complex and varies in different parts of the study area. The influence of politics and political parties on caste varies from one community to another, depending upon the assimilation of various sections of society into the political community. The political process provides choices to individuals and groups, thus contributing to the process of individualisation going on in developing social processes in Gujarat.

The study of the 2010 local elections was carried out by Jayesh Shah and Lancy Lobo. It is planned that a similar study will be done for every election to be held in these study areas.