Voting Behaviour of Different Castes in 2024 General Elections of India

Introduction

1. Ours is a caste ridden society. Castes play an important role in shaping the voting behaviour of the people. In normal times, it is caste which makes or breaks the government. But in abnormal situations, people vote overriding the primordial loyalties like castes, communities and religion.

2. In 2024 General Election for the Lok Sabha, a general trend is visible across the country. The upper castes voted overwhelmingly for NDA led by BJP while Muslims and Dalits by and large voted for Congress and India alliance.

3. In Karnataka, 22% upper caste voted for Congress and 71% for NDA. The dominant Vokalinga votes were split between NDA and Congress, 56% and 44% respectively.

4. The 76% of the dominant Lingayat voted for NDA, while only 20% voted for Congress. 2/3rd (66%) dalits voted for Congress and 1/3rd (33%) for NDA. 44% Adivasi voted for Congress, 56% for NDA. 92% Muslims voted for Congress and only 8% for NDA. Thus, the Congress got only 9 seats and NDA 19 seats out of the total 28 seats in Karnataka.

5. In Haryana, Congress and BJP got 5 seats each out of the total 10 seats.

6. The dominant Jat community voted overwhelmingly for Congress (64%) and only 27% for BJP. The share of the Upper caste was 66% for BJP and 30% for Congress. The votes of OBC were split between Congress and BJP, 51% and 44% respectively. Congress made a dent into the OBC votes of BJP. 68% scheduled caste voted for Congress and only 24% voted for BJP.

7. In Rajasthan,Out of total 25 seats, the BJP won 14 seats and the Congress won eight seats. The Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party and the Bharat Adivasi Party each won one seat.

8. The 26% upper caste voted for Congress led India alliance and 65% voted for BJP.

9. The 39 % OBC voted for India alliance and 59% for BJP, 46% Dalits voted for Congress and 37% voted for BJP. 40% Adivasis voted India Alliance and 46% Adivasis voted for BJP. 68% Muslims voted for Congress and only 14% voted for BJP. From the above data it is clear that OBC votes, Dalit votes and adivasi votes split between the Congress led India alliance and BJP. While the upper caste Hindus voted overwhelmingly for BJP, the Muslims voted for the India alliance.

10. In Delhi, 71% upper caste, 58% OBC and 49% Dalit voted for BJP. While only 14% upper caste, 19% OBC, 20% Dalit and 34% Muslims voted for Congress. 12% upper caste, 20% OBC, 28% dalit, 49 % Muslims. Thus, there was a clear divide. While the upper castes and obc voted overwhelmingly for BJP, the dalit vote was split between the India alliance and the BJP in equal measures. As usual , 83% Muslims voted for the India alliance. People were satisfied with the performance of the central government. The arrest of Kejriwal did not cut ice with the voters. That’s why, the BJP swept all the seven seats.

11. In Chhattisgarh, BJP cornered 10 out of 11 seats in the 2024 election. This was because 74% upper castes, 56% OBCs and 59% Dalits and 41% Adivasis voted for BJP.

12. In Gujarat, 71% upper caste, 80% Patidar, 58% Kshatriya, 68% OBC, 54% Dalits, 49% Adivasi and 29% Muslims voted for BJP. The Congress got 25% votes of upper castes, 6% votes of Patidar, 39%votes of Kshatriya, 23% vote of OBC, 46% votes of Dalits, 41% votes of Adivasi and 59% votes of Muslims. Thus, votes of dalits and adivasi more or less vertically divided between Congress and BJP while Muslim voted for congress overwhelmingly, upper caste Patidar, Kshatriya and OBCs voted overwhelmingly for BJP. That’s why, BJP cornered 25 out of 26 seats in Gujarat.

13. In Punjab also, 56% upper caste Hindus voted for BJP. Every third urban voter voted for the BJP. Sikh OBCs were mainly divided between the Congress and the AAP. The BJP did not open its account in Punjab. Out of the 13 seats, Congress won 7 seats, AAP 3 seats, SAD 1 seat and Independents 2 seats.

14. In Uttar Pradesh, Upper Castes 16% voted for the India alliance and 79% for the NDA. 82% Yadav voted for India and 15% for NDA. 61% Kurmi Koiri voted for NDA and 34% INDIA alliance. 59% OBCs voted for NDA and 34% for INDIA. 25% Jatav voted for India, 24% for NDA and 44% for BSP. Non Jatav Dalits overwhelmingly supported the INDIA alliance (56%) while 92% Muslims voted for the INDIA alliance. Thus, 13% Jatavs of UP who were the staunch supporters of BSP, got split. Although half of the Jatavs still remained with BSP, half of them split between NDA and India. Unemployment, inflation, paper leaks were important factors that made a dent into the BJP votes. So out of 80 seats Samajwadi Party got 37 seats while Congress got 6 seats.

15. In Bihar, out of 40 seats NDA got 30 seats. India alliance got 9 seats (RJD 4, Congress 3, CPI ML 2) Independent 1. 53% Upper caste, 67 % Koiri + Kurmi, 26% Yadav, 54% other OBC, 65 % Dusadh/ Pasi, 58 % other scheduled caste and 12% Muslims voted for NDA. While 10 % upper caste, 19% Koeri and Kurmi, 73% Yadavs, 14% other OBC, 35 % Dusadh/ Pasi, 42% other scheduled castes and 87% Muslims voted for INDIA Alliance. Thus, other OBC, Dusadh/Pasi, Koeri and Kurmi tilted in favour of the NDA alliance.

16. In Telangana, out of 17 seats both the Congress and the BJP won 8 seats each and was won by Asaduddin Owasi. 53% upper castes, 42% OBC, 24% scheduled castes , 29% scheduled tribes, 4% Muslims voted for BJP. While 29% upper caste, 38% OBC, 45% scheduled caste, 58 % scheduled tribes, 33 % Muslims voted for Congress. The vote share of the BRS dropped to 17% in the Lok Sabha election from 38% in the assembly election in the last year. There has been a massive shift in OBC and upper caste votes to the BJP. This vote shift has come from the BRS. Thus it was a major setback for the Congress Party which won a thumping majority in the recently held assembly election.

17. In Madhya Pradesh, all 29 seats were cornered by BJP. And completely decimated Congress. 72% of the upper caste, 63% upper OBCs, 71% lower OBCs, 53% Dalits and 70% Adivasis voted for BJP. Thus the vote share of BJP went up to 59% while the Congress got only 32% votes. Poor organisational structure, lack of effective leadership and clear cut ideology eroded the vote percentage of Congress Party in Madhya Pradesh.

18. In Andhra Pradesh, the formidable alliance of Telugu Desam, Jana Sena of Pawan Kalyan and BJP decimated the YSR Congress Party led by Jagan Mohan Reddy. The NDA Alliance swept the assembly election and YSR CP was reduced to only 11 seats in state assembly of 175 seats and 4 seats in Lok Sabha (25 seats) about 55% upper castes, 62% Reddy, 32% Kamma, 44% Golla and Kuruma, 23.8% Goud, 53.5% Muslims, 55.6% Christians, 47.7% Mala voted for YSR Congress Party. While the NDA Alliance got more than 60% vote share of Goud, Kammas and Kapus, More than 50% vote share of OBCs, Madigas and Malas. More than half of the voters below 25 years and 2/3rd of the voters between 26 and 35 age group voted overwhelmingly for INDIA Alliance.

Conclusion

1.In 2024 General election, BJP got 240 seats and along with NDA partners it reached 293. Congress got 99 seats and along with INDIA Alliance, it crossed 234 seats. In the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh , Uttarakhand , Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, it got dismal performance. Even in the Congress ruled states of Karnataka and Telangana, it did not show effective strength.

2.BJP did not get a full majority on its own because it did not perform well in the states of UP and Maharashtra. The Congress did well in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra capturing 13 seats and INDIA alliance got 30 seats, 17 seats by NDA and 1 seat by Independent.

3.2024 general election showed upper castes and OBCs other than Yadavs rallied behind NDA while Muslims and Dalits supported Congress and INDIA Alliance.

4.Wherever, there was a split of votes dalit and adivasi, NDA swept the poll. INDIA Alliance must focus upon dalits, adivasis, OBCs and Muslims in order to get electoral advantage in the next election. Since the upper caste is by and large solidly behind the BJP and NDA alliance in northern India and a major chunk of OBCs other than Yadavs support NDA alliance, it would be the Prime Focus of India alliance to make dent into the OBC votes. If it wants to capture power at the centre and states in northern India.

 

My photo

Akhilesh Jha, IPS

IPS, Ex-DIG, Gold Medalist.

IPS in Madhya Pradesh Police

 

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