Monday, April 22, 2024
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Lok Sabha elections 2024: An objective assessment

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By VK Lyngdoh

How the general election to the 18th Lok Sabha from 1 Shillong Parliamentary Constituency pans out on April 19, 2024 given the parties position as on November 25, 2023. Let us examine region wise how each party will fare in the contest for the Shillong Parliamentary Constituency to the 18th Lok Sabha.
Jaintia Region
The contest in 1. Nartiang Assembly Constituency will be between the INC and NPP. In 2 Jowai AC it will be between the NPP and UDP. In 3. Raliang AC NPP will get through easily. In 4. Mokaiaw AC will be a triangular contest between the NPP, INC and UDP. In 5. Sutnga -Saipung AC the contest will be triangular between NPP, INC and UDP. In 6. Khliehriat AC the contest will be between UDP and NPP and in 7. Amlarem AC the contest will be between the NPP and UDP. It may be noted that overall, in the Jaintia region the NPP has 41% of the vote share as of 2023, followed by UDP 30 % and INC 16%. The AITC has a vote share of 5%, BJP 4%, Independent 2.7% and VPP 0.3%.
Ri Bhoi Region
The contest in 8. Mawhati AC will be a triangular one between the INC, NPP and UDP. In 9. Nongpoh AC too the contest is going to be a triangular one between the UDP, INC and NPP. In 10. Jirang AC the contest will be between the NPP and INC. In 11. Umsning AC the contest will be triangular between the INC, UDP and NPP. In 12. Umroi AC the NPP will have no contest. Overall in the Ri Bhoi region the NPP has a vote share of 31%, INC 26%, UDP 21, AITC 11%, BJP, HSPDP and VPP 3 % each, and Independent 0.5%.
East Khasi Hills
Urban region
In 14. Pynthorumkhrah AC the contest will be triangular between the NPP, INC and VPP but given the support of the BJP the NPP will come through. In 15. Mawlai AC the contest will be between the VPP and NPP. 16. East Shillong AC the contest will be between the NPP and INC but given the support of the BJP the NPP will come through. 17. North Shillong AC the contest is going to be triangular between the VPP, NPP and UDP. 18. West Shillong AC the contest will be between the UDP and NPP and in 21. Nongthymmai AC the contest will be triangular – between the UDP, VPP and NPP and with the support of the BJP and AITC, NPP will sail through comfortably. Overall in East Khasi Hills urban region the VPP has a vote share of 27.5%, BJP 23%, NPP 16%, UDP 14%, INC 12%, AITC 6% and Independent 1.87% according to the last available data of 2023.
East Khasi Hills
rural region
In 13. Mawrengkneng AC the contest is going to be triangular between the VPP, UDP and NPP. Similarly, the contest in 20. Mylliem AC is going to be triangular between the INC, VPP and NPP. In 22. Nongkrem Assembly Constituency the contest will be triangular between the VPP, UDP and NPP. In 23. Sohiong AC the contest is going to be between the UDP and NPP. In 24. Mawphlang AC the contest is going to be between the UDP, INC, VPP and NPP. In 25. Mawsynram AC the contest is going to be between NPP and UDP and given the support of BJP, the NPP is in an advantageous position. In 26. Shella AC the contest is going to be between the UDP and the NPP. In 27. Pynursla AC the contest will be triangular between the NPP, INC and UDP according to the 2023 data. In 28. Sohra AC the contest is going to be between NPP and UDP. In 29. Mawkynrew AC the contest is between the NPP and UDP. Over all in East Khasi Hills rural region the NPP has a vote share of 37.83%, UDP 28.57%, VPP 13.34%, INC 7.77%, BJP 5.14%, AITC 2.58%, HSPDP 2.48% and Independent 1.76%.
West Khasi Hills Region
In 32. Nongstoin AC the contest is going to be triangular between the INC, NPP and UDP. In 33. Rambrai-Jyrngam AC the contest is going to be between the RDA, NPP and INC and in 34. Mawshynrut AC the contest will be between the RDA and NPP. Over all in the West Khasi Hills region the NPP has a vote share of 29.60%, HSPDP 26.91%, INC 18%, Independent 8.88%, UDP 6.8%, AITC 4.67%, VPP 3.4% and BJP 1.11%.
South West Khasi
|Hills Region
In 35. Ranikor AC the NPP is yet to open an account in this Constituency but with the support of the BJP it will contest with the UDP. In 36. Mawkyrwat AC the contest is going to be between the RDA and NPP given the fact that the MDC from Mawkyrwat has shifted to NPP though RDA is in an advantageous position. Over all in South West Khasi Hills region the UDP has a vote share of 40.64%, BJP 16.45%, INC 14.80%, HSPDP 9.09%, AITC 7.07%, Independent 5.19%, NPP 4.79% and VPP 1.48%.
Eastern West Khasi
Hills Region
In 30. Mairang AC the contest is going to be between the UDP and NPP given the fact that the MDC from Mairang has shifted to the NPP. In 31. Mawthadraishan AC the contest is going to be between the RDA and NPP and the former is in an advantageous position. Overall, in the Eastern West Khasi Hills region as things stand the UDP has a vote share of 42.53%, INC 23.92%, HSPDP 21.67%, NPP 9.56%, VPP 1.18% and BJP 0.46%.
In political discourse, the concept of vote bank refers to a loyal bloc of voters from a single community. These voters consistently back a particular candidate or political formation during democratic elections. The term “vote bank” often arises due to an expectation of benefits whether real or imagined from the political formations, sometimes at the expense of other communities. Some of the key points about vote banks: A vote bank is a group of voters aligned based on factors such as caste, sect, religion, or language. Political parties recognise these groups and tailor their strategies to appeal to them. The existence of a vote bank can be both persistent and subject to change. Some vote banks remain steadfast over time, consistently supporting a particular party. However, shifts can occur due to changing demographics, political developments, or shifts in party policies.
While vote banks play a role in electoral politics, they are generally considered undesirable. Relying solely on vote banks can hinder the principles of representative democracy. It encourages voting based on self-interest rather than informed judgement. In India historically some of the first identified vote banks were along caste lines. Other vote banks have formed based on religion, language, or other community characteristics. Some argue that vote banks based on caste or religion hinder secularization efforts. While vote banks persist, they are not static. Political dynamics, social changes and evolving priorities can influence their composition and impact over time. However, Informed judgement, taking into account the national perspective and current dynamics of politics in India is imperative while casting our vote for a political party from the prestigious 1 Shillong Parliamentary Constituency to the 18th Lok Sabha.

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