Ahead of Delhi Assembly polls, book maps voting patterns

Voting patterns in Delhi have been found to be based more on class rather than caste, according to a prominent psephologist.

New Delhi: Voting patterns in Delhi have been found to be based more on class rather than caste with the electorate belonging to the same caste but different class voting differently, according to a prominent psephologist.

"Assembly Elections in Delhi witness more class-based voting compared to caste-based voting and the class background of voters has a strong influence on the voting behaviour," Sanjay Kumar, a fellow at the Centre for Studies of Developing Societies (CSDS) here said.

Kumar`s book "Changing Electoral Politics in Delhi: From Class to Caste" (Sage) launched here late last evening throws light on the election voters and politics in the capital, which goes to polls in a few months with the ruling Congress Party pitched against the BJP, the BSP and the newly formed Aam Admi Party among others.

"I am trying to present the changing profile of Delhi voters and impact in electoral politics. Lots of people are migrating to the city. Due to rapid migration of people from the lower and poor classes, the city now has substantial population of poor people," Kumar said.

Kumar, who says he has been regularly following electoral politics and electoral competitions since Delhi got its statehood, takes readers through graphical representations and substantiates it with details obtained through sample surveys.

The book analyses pattern of electoral politics in Delhi using four assembly elections after it became a state in 1993. After forming the government in 1993, the BJP is out of power and the Congress has been ruling the state for the last 15 years.

Looking at variations in political behaviour and divergent views of voters from different classes, the author argues that Delhi hardly looks like one city.

"It seems these are three cities merged into one city, the city of the upper class, the city of the middle class and the city of the poor or lower class. These three cities do not have any geographical boundaries, they keep merging with one another, but the three cities have deep social, economic and political boundaries."

"Now it is time to forget all the older classification of Delhi into Old Delhi and New Delhi or between Yamuna Paar, South Delhi and the rest of Delhi," Kumar said.