Post-poll survey: beyond the binaries of caste in Haryana

The BJP’s crushing victory was due to the support of Jats and non-Jats

May 30, 2019 12:00 am | Updated 12:17 am IST

The BJP won all seats in the State, securing a 58% vote share and trumping the Congress by a margin of 30%. The Indian National Lok Dal got just 2% of the vote share. The JJP-AAP and the LSP-BSP alliances proved to be a damp squib, securing 9% and 4%, respectively.

In eight of the 10 seats, the margin of victory for the BJP was more than three lakh. The margin extended up to six lakh in Faridabad and Karnal.

Table 1: Caste wise vote share in 2019


Moving beyond the traditional contest between Jats and non-Jats, the BJP has managed to secure a rainbow coalition across all the major caste groups. After the 2016 violent protests over Jat reservations, the BJP was often characterised as the only party that could reduce the political clout of Jats by taking advantage of the consolidation of non-Jat votes. However, defying this expectation, every second person from the Jat community itself voted for the BJP.

Table 2: Net Satisfaction with incumbent candidate and government


And every three of four people from the non-Jat upper caste community voted for the BJP. The biggest boost it received was from Dalit and OBCs with a rise of 39% and 30% votes, respectively, from the 2014 tally. Clubbing OBCs, the Scheduled Castes and the upper castes together, the total “non-Jat” vote share for the BJP is a whopping 69%.

The performance of the local MP appears to have mattered very little to the voter. Overall, there was net “dissatisfaction” of 9% for the local MLA and 10% for the local MP. There was a net satisfaction of 26 percentage points for the Union government with about six of every 10 voters wanting to see Narendra Modi again as Prime Minister.

Table 3: If Modi was not BJP’s PM candidate, BJP voters


Three-fifths of those who were completely dissatisfied with their MP still wanted to give the BJP a chance at the Centre and about half reported having voted for the BJP. Mr. Modi seems to have been a deciding factor, as about half the BJP voters reported that they would have voted for another party if he was not the PM candidate.

Table 4: Impact of Balakot and EBC reservation on vote choice


The Balakot air strikes seemed to have no impact on the voting preference for the BJP. More or less, an equal proportion of people irrespective of whether they heard about Balakot strikes reported having voted for the BJP. About eight of every 10 of the Jat community support the 10% reservation introduced by the Centre for the economically backward class in government jobs and the education sector. Among those Jats who support this reservation, about half reported to have voted for the BJP as opposed to four of every 10 voters among those who were against this reservation.

Table 5: Popularity of PM and CM


(Kushal Pal is the Head of the Department of Political Science, Dyal Singh College, Karnal, and Anurag Jain is a research assistant at Lokniti-CSDS, Delhi)

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