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‘Dance of Democracy’ for Voters

Updated: Apr 6, 2019

The IMPECT Study (#WeAreWatchingYou) in the period March 10-20 shows an effort by ToI for voter education with ‘Dance of Democracy’ — coverage of poll-related issues providing informative data with graphical representation. Headlines like ‘Mumbai region MPs present a mixed report card’, ‘Cong best in fielding women, BSP worst’, ‘A 20 km trek for 86 voters - why holding polls in Himachal is an uphill task’, ‘How 1976 seat freeze has altered LS representation - Move was to encourage family planning growth didn’t lose out in parliament’, which talks of Art. 81 of constitution about the allocation of seats on the ratio of population to seats, ‘What’s the value of your vote’, ‘Rallies, roadshows run up huge bills, not even half are disclosed, BNC rally by national leader cost up to Rs 4.5 cr.’ Comparative analyses on the release of MP funds and utilization in respective constituencies, analysis of Lok Sabha elections from 1996 to 2014, share of tickets to women candidates by various political parties, information on the total number of polling stations in Himachal, with 7,723 polling stations and 4 seats, that also comprises of uphill task like ‘A 20 km TREK for 86 VOTERS’ implying that this can only be accessed on foot, Art. 81 of the Constitution on the allocation of seats on ratio of population to seats along with study of gain of seats in some states and loss in others, Lakshadweep having the most valuable votes — 30.4 value of state vote compared to national average whereas 10 Delhi voters having the same influence as 8 average Indian voters, EC decision to allow Lok Sabha candidates in large states except Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Sikkim to spend between Rs 50 lakh to 70 lakh, additional information like candidates needing to open separate account for poll-related expense with half the expense to be borne by candidates, lack of clarity on expenditure cap for parties etc., were some of the issues highlighted.