November 30, 2017

To Call Demonetisation a Political Success is Not Accurate

Praveen Chakravarty, Visiting Senior Fellow maintains in his Hindustan Times article that the narrative of note ban being an economic failure but a political success is a deeply flawed one.


Excerpts from the article are below


"This notion that demonetisation is an economic failure but a political success is a deeply flawed one. The popular wisdom is that because Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won several state elections immediately after demonetisation, it is a political success. In India’s notorious first-past-the-post system, winning an election does not necessarily reflect increased popular support. If demonetisation was indeed a very popular move and earned plaudits among voters as claimed, then this should have reflected in the vote shares for the BJP in elections held immediately after demonetisation."


"There were 578 assembly constituencies across 18 states where voters had a chance to exercise their support for the BJP after demonetisation on November 8, 2016. These include state elections and by-elections to both state assemblies and the Lok Sabha. These exact same 578 constituencies also had a BJP candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Nearly 100 million Indians voted in these 578 constituencies in elections held after demonetisation. Forty-three per cent of them voted for the BJP in the 2014 elections. After demonetisation, 41% voted for the BJP. In other words, when exactly the same set of voters was given a chance to choose the BJP, fewer voters chose the BJP after demonetisation than before. To be sure, the difference is insignificant and cannot be attributed to demonetisation alone. But clearly this does not support the narrative that demonetisation was a hugely popular move among voters and spurred them to support the BJP in larger numbers. Even in terms of seats won, the BJP won 452 of these 578 constituencies before demonetisation; after, it won 408. If fewer voters chose the BJP after demonetisation than before, how can it be deemed as a political success? At best, one could argue that demonetisation did no harm to the BJP and did not pull down its support significantly...."


Read full article here

Topic : Transitions / In : OP-EDS
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