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Who benefits from less voting? Market experts do not need to read much on voter turnout.


Lok Sabha Chunav 2024: The issue of low voting is a hot topic amid Lok Sabha elections. Be it the ruling party or the opposition camp, they have their own arguments regarding this. Market experts are giving their views on low voter turnout. At present, it will be interesting to see how important role low voting will play in this electoral battle.

highlights

  • Effect of Lok Sabha elections visible on the market
  • Ruling party and opposition’s own claims on low voting
  • Market experts are also expressing uncertainty on this
  • What will happen to PM Modi’s ‘cross 400’ slogan?
Author – Swapan DasguptaThe extent to which political developments influence the behavior of financial markets is a subject of enduring interest. A growing body of technical analysts track market fluctuations during months and weeks of political activity, using what is called the Volatility Index (VIX). In May 2014, when the general election results were under discussion, India’s VIX was in the mid-30s. During the final round of the 2019 general elections, it had dropped to a low of 30, one place below. We know that there was no exciting ending to the 2014 and 2019 elections.

Election results of 2014 and 2019

In 2014, Indian voters gave a clear majority to a single party for the first time in 25 years, apart from mixed coalition governments. Then the same pattern was repeated in 2019. Yet, people with good memories will tell you that even at that time there were many reports which suggested that BJP had got the lead in some parts of Uttar Pradesh. How Muslim solidarity was working against Narendra Modi in other states. Media reports during both elections stated that there was no wave, equations centered on caste and local governance had trumped national issues.

Why the uncertainty in the market this time?

In this election, India VIX has been comparatively very low. Last week its highest level was 21.1. However, this was due to continued selling by some foreign funds and jitters among some domestic fund managers over possible political uncertainty or weak government formation. What is surprising is that signs of future political uncertainty have also been seen in some speculative markets. CPM leader Sitaram Yechury’s assessment that the BJP-led alliance will remain below 272, while the India Bloc’s figure will touch 300, does not seem credible at all. Not least because the total number of leftists is barely touching double digits.

Investors fear 2004-like results!

For the time being, these claims definitely gave an additional bounce to the steps of the anti-Modi people. At least those people who are linking low voting to this. The move certainly prompted the media to ask Amit Shah if there was a Plan B. That’s because investors fear another 2004 result – when Atal Bihari Vajpayee unexpectedly lost. There was a similar market decline at that time too, so the concerns are understandable. The political fog prevailing in Mumbai has also created a stir in the market. In Maharashtra, a series of changing alliances and unfamiliar election symbols have blurred this perspective. With this the forecast has become dangerous.

Results like 1984 also discussed

There is similar uncertainty over whether Janata Dal (United)’s coming together with BJP in Bihar will further strengthen their performance. It is always dangerous to expect a popular mandate in a country as vast and diverse as India. The optimism of the BJP and its allies is centered on the belief that the Lok Sabha election has turned into a presidential election, with only one candidate on the ballot. In 2014, Modi was projected as the great hope. In 2019, he emerged as a strong, straightforward national leader. In 2024, Modi has been given cult status. This was done with the rationale that a very important section would come forward to vote. Their intentions will go beyond the traditional pattern and vote in favor of Modi. If this is the new reality, then the results of 2024 will be roughly similar to the one-sided results of the 1984 elections after the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

These issues will dominate the battle of 2024

The logic of the 2024 decision will certainly make sense in retrospect. However, experience (and archival evidence) shows that the intensity of most electoral waves has been beyond the media’s understanding. This includes the historic elections of 1977, 1984 and 2014. It appears that media assessments are inappropriately localized and err on the side of caution. Two additional factors should be considered in the current election. First, there is strong evidence that from Udhampur in the North to Kanyakumari in South India, the votes are leaning in the same direction. The intensity of this tilt may vary across regions, states and constituencies, but there is no mistake about the direction. The only time before this was in 1984, when positive changes across India, except Andhra Pradesh, which bucked the trend, gave the Congress 414 parliamentary seats.

PM Modi gave the slogan of ‘crossing 400’

It is not known whether when Modi gave the slogan of ‘crossing 400’, he had the experience of 1984 in mind or not. But, it can be said with certainty that the intensity of political competition is the lowest it has been in recent times. In most elections, the greatest division and sociological dissection on the basis of caste, community and religion is witnessed in the 80 seats of Uttar Pradesh. It would not be wrong to say that in this year’s elections the intensity of political competition in India’s largest state is limited to 10 to 12 seats. In the rest the outcome seems already decided.

Is the opposition losing ground in the Hindi belt?

This does not mean that the opposition has no importance in India. There is strong competition in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra and probably Punjab, Haryana also. However, the opposition seems to be losing ground in the Hindi belt. On paper, Congress has fielded around 300 candidates, but it is seriously fighting for around 150 seats. As for how India votes in 2024, the signs seem to be pointing in the same direction. However, on the contrary, there are also unpredictability and distortions in human nature.

About the Author

Ruchir Shukla

Ruchir Shukla has been associated with presswire18 Times Online since February 2020. First a news agency, then after TV journalism he entered digital media. Working in digital media for about 10 years. There is special interest in politics, crime, positive news of all kinds. The process of learning and understanding continues continuously.… Read more
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