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‘Note for vote’ gaining currency amongst Indian voters

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Assembly polls in FaridabadNew Delhi: The expectation of getting a bribe for casting a favoured vote is one of the “critical factors” that drives the ballot choice amongst Indian voters and this desire in witnessing an upward trend, a latest electoral indices study has found.

“About 70 per cent of those who change or make up their voting choice in the last minute are influenced by anyone or a combination of these five factors– local pressures, lure of money, effective campaigns, coverage in news media and manifesto offers. In this process, lure of money is a more likely factor, not always acknowledged and often goes by group dynamics.

“Money lure is considered as one of the five critical factors that determine voting choice of undecided voters and induce shift in voting intentions in the last minute. The percentage of voters who view money as a factor has substantially increased in 2014 as compared to 2008,” the study done by the Centre for Media Studies (CMS) to check voting trends based on this specific index between 2007-14 in the country said.

The CMS-India Corruption Study claims to have researched the ‘lure of money in lieu of votes in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. The trend: 2007-2014′.

The ‘note-for-vote’ study found that the percentage of voters who considered lure of money as a last minute factor before casting their ballot has increased in the major states where polls were held during this test period which includes states like Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra among few others.

While in Karnataka in 2008, 7 per cent voters thought so, in 2014 the numbers rose to 15 per cent and similarly in Maharashtra the percentage numbers of such voters rose to ten from two in 2008.

The study, which took a sample of 75,000 voters during the period 2007-14, adds that “the per cent of voters who view corruption as one of the issues bothering them has also increased significantly in 2014. There is acknowledgement of money as an influencing factor in voting choice.”

The study states that in polls held in 2014, 75 per cent voters in Andhra Pradesh, 26 per cent in Uttar Pradesh, 30 per cent in Madhya Pradesh, 20 per cent in Punjab and 8 per cent in Delhi experienced such a phenomenon themselves or knew about distribution of such bribe money in the neighbourhood.


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