How Congress regained prominence in Punjab | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

How Congress regained prominence in Punjab

Jun 05, 2024 08:20 AM IST

To be sure, the Congress’s performance can also be ascribed to its ability to win back its vote share in selected pockets of the state

In 2022, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won a three fourth majority in the assembly elections in Punjab. The Congress, which was in power in the state was reduced to a seat share of just 23%. The 2024 Lok Sabha elections have turned the tables completely . While the AAP has been reduced to just three seats in the state, the Congress has won seven seats which is just one short of its 2019 tally. How did the Congress manage to regain Punjab? What makes this question even more intriguing is the fact that both the Congress and the AAP have a vote share of 26% in the state. Just two charts are enough to answer this question.

Amrinder Singh Raja Warring of Congress celebrates his victory in Ludhiana with party workers on Tuesday. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)
Amrinder Singh Raja Warring of Congress celebrates his victory in Ludhiana with party workers on Tuesday. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)

The answer to this question lies in the large increase in level of political fragmentation in the state. Median value of Effective Number of Parties (ENOP) in Punjab in 2024 is 4.3. It is the highest this number has even been in the history of the state. ENOP is the reciprocal of sum of squares of vote share of all candidates in a constituency and a higher value denotes greater political fragmentation in the elections. For example, if there are four candidates in a constituency and they get 26%, 25%, 25% and 24% votes ENOP value will be 3.99. If these votes share numbers change to 50%, 45%, 3% and 2% ENOP will fall to 2.2. In a state where the contest is four-cornered, it is eminently possible for a party to win 60% of the seats with even a 26% vote share.

See Chart 1: Median ENOP in Punjab

To be sure, the Congress’s performance can also be ascribed to its ability to win back its vote share in selected pockets of the state. Trivedi Center for Political Data (TCPD) divides Punjab into three sub-regions: Malwa, Majha and Doab. These three regions have eight, three and two PCs respectively. Four of the Congress’s seven seats have come from the Malwa region in the state. In terms of vote share, the Congress has made a 4.8 percentage point gain in Malwa, 4 percentage point gain in Doaba and seen a marginal decline of 0.3 percentage points in the Majha region compared to its vote share in the 2022 assembly elections. The AAP, on the other hand has seen a fall of 20 percentage points in Malwa, 14.2 percentage points in Majha and 3.7 percentage points in Doaba region.

See Chart 2: region-wise vote share change of AAP and Congress between 2022 and 2024

These numbers will cheer the Congress as of now, but they also suggest that Punjab politics has entered a new phase of electoral and even ideological fragmentation.

Catch every big hit, every wicket with Crickit, a one stop destination for Live Scores, Match Stats, Infographics & much more. Explore now!

See more

Get Current Updates on India News, Budget 2024, Weather Today along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, July 26, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On