Decoding the Results of the Indian General Elections 2024


At the time of writing this abstract, the results of the Indian elections are not known. However, a number of theories have been developed to explain recent state and general elections. Some have to do with leadership of various parties, religious majoritarianism, caste representation by each political parties, the tension between ‘rights-based’ and ‘compensatory’ welfarism (the so-called ‘labarthi’ or ‘beneficiary’ theory). I evaluate these approaches, and suggest that they do explain certain dynamics, but leave out others. I explain the role of information overload and deficit, media and social media, ‘photocracy’ and ‘affiliation’ in the ways in which parties relate to voters, as an alternative explanatory framework to understand electoral results in India.

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