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Increasing voting percentage is a good sign for the Indian democracy
After completion of four phases of the general election 2019, the total voting percentage has been 67%, whereas in 2014, it was 67.6%. If current trends continue, then this year's polling percentage can exceed the voting percentage of 2014. Not only this, the percentage of voting in this year is likely to be the highest since Independence. However, elections in Assam and Punjab in the year 1985 were delayed for one year, but 72% people polled, but the average voting of 1984 and 1985 was 67.9%.

The general election of 2019 can be considered as amazing in many ways. The voting trend of voters shows that the maximum voting held in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Karnataka since 1962 or 57 years post-independence. Similarly, in Chhattisgarh in 15 years and Maharashtra, the maximum turnout was since 30 years.

In the year 2019, the youth, the elderly and women are taking part in the election. For example, in the states like Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh (partially) and Rajasthan (partially), where the percentage of voting of young voters between the ages of 18 and 25 is more. In these states, 3.3% increase in voting has been recorded in comparison to the national average, in which the number of additional voters is 4.5 million. They are likely to be young. States like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala, where the elderly population is more than the national average, there has also done a 1.8% higher turnout than the national average.

Polling has been completed in 373 seats out of 543 Lok Sabha seats, which is 69% of total seats. Stage wise polling rate indicates that in the year 2019, voting is more or equal than the rate of 2014 except for the third phase. If this trend continued, then this year's polling rate will surpass the voting rate of 2014.

In Mumbai city of Maharashtra, increase in voting percentage has also been recorded. 55.1% of the turnout was recorded in Mumbai, which is the highest since 1989. The most important thing in this context is that after a 3-day long weekend too, a large number of people voted, which shows that voting for the common people has become the most important work.

In Maharashtra, where the elderly population is more than the national average, the percentage of their voting has also been increased. There is 8.6% elderly population in Karnataka and Kerala states, there has also done 1.8% more voting, which is higher than the national average and in context of voters, it is 1.1 million.

Women voters who were previously unable to participate in the electoral process for various social and economic reasons, their percentage of voting was less in 2014, but the percentage of votes cast by them is increasing in the general elections this year. Now they are actively putting their votes, which may be due to the implementation of schemes like Mudra Loan, Pradhan Mantri Jandhan and Ujvala. These schemes have made the common women empowered.

Effects of poverty on voting percentage

By the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index (MPI), was examined the state's population's education, health and living standards, the details of which released in the form a report In the 2015-16. As per this report, the Bihar is the poorest among all states, whereas Kerala is the richest.  

An analysis of votes cast by voters in the context of MPI data reveals that in West India, where there is less poverty, more voting is being done in the year 2019 than in the year 2014. South Indian states except Tamil Nadu have less poverty. In these states, voting percent was high. In the North-eastern states, like Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Sikkim and Nagaland have high percentage of poverty. In these states, the percentage of voting is less, whereas in the states like Manipur, Meghalaya, Assam and Mizoram, which have low poverty level, the voting percent is high. 

It can be said that gradually the citizens of the country are becoming aware of their rights and responsibilities. The most important thing is that the people are voting beyond the established social models. However, the practice of voting on the basis of caste is still continuing, but now there is a decline in it too. Even though its percentage is still low, but it is likely to improve.

About Author: Satish Singh is currently working as Chief Manager in State Bank of India's Economic Research Department, Corporate Centre, Mumbai, and has been writing mainly on financial and banking topics for the last 10 years.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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