In India, a large number of Parliament seats are reserved for SC / Dalits (84 seats – 15.5%) and ST / Tribes (47 seats – 8.7%).
In addition, SC/ST leaders are also elected from non-reserved constituencies. Though, many political parties claim to espouse the cause of SC/ST, in reality only few mainstream parties give tickets to SC/ST candidates in non-reserved constituencies.
On analysing non-reserved (general) assembly seats from 2004-2013, we noticed regional heavy-weights SAD, DMK, PMK, TRS, and INLD have not given a single non-reserved seat to any SC/ST candidates.
A closer look at the two ratios tables reveals that:
- BSP and LJP gave more seats to SC candidates and fewer seats to ST candidates when compared with national average.
- The two major national parties, INC and BJP, are way below national average.
- SDF, AGP and JKPDP, which topped in ST candidates list, didn’t give a seat to SC candidates in non-reserved seats.
SC candidates have higher participation than ST candidates in general seats. However, bucking the general trend, INC gives fewer tickets to SC candidates in non-reserved constituencies. Though, SC candidates’ participation is higher, ST candidates’ winnability is much higher.
Note: We only considered parties that won at least 20 seats in total.
In our next post, we will see how candidates have fared at these places and compare the performance of SC/ST candidates.