Politics of non-reserved territories

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.

Ratio of SC ST candidates

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.

Winnability of SC ST candidates

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.

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