Number game

Uttar Pradesh 2017: These 13 charts examine the BJP's surge in India's heartland

The BJP started the campaign on a high note. The Samajwadi Party almost retained its 2012 vote share – Congress dragged the alliance down.

With a clear majority and nearly 40% of the votes, the Bharatiya Janata Party scored a comprehensive victory in Uttar Pradesh. Winning 312 of 403 seats, the saffron party left its competitors far behind to score its biggest victory in this crucial state of the Hindi belt.

Ironically, though Saturday’s results do not suggest it, the BJP’s main opponent, the Samajwadi Party performed well too, maintaining its vote share in the 2012 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh that had brought it to power that year. However, the party was dragged down because of an ineffective alliance with the Congress.

The Bahujan Samaj Party probably retained the Jatav Dalit vote, but party chief Mayawati seems to have increasingly lost her ability to attract votes beyond her core support base.

While this is the big picture, the numbers contain the finer details. The charts, maps and graphs below will help us analyse the results of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh.

However, this exercise will not enable us to answer every question that the data raises as we know nothing about the determinants of electoral behavior. But it will give us a better understanding of the reasons for the BJP’s massive victory.

Women at the forefront

Observers were expecting a sharp increase of turnout this year, but that did not happen. Voter participation rose only slightly, from 59.4% in 2012 to 61.14% in 2017, as per the Trivedi Centre for Political Data’s calculations, (based on provisionary data). Interestingly, the increase in turnout is carried almost exclusively driven by women, who outvoted men by more than 3% in these elections.

Narrowing competition

There were 305 political parties in the fray for the just-concluded Uttar Pradesh polls. This number has risen exponetially over the least few years – in the 2007, there were 222 contesting parties.

However, the number of parties that go on to win seats and represention in the Vidhan Sabha has decreased with each election. In 2002, 17 parties won representation in the state Assembly. In 2017, only candidates from nine parties won seats.

One reason for the narrowing competition is that voters are increasingly choosing to align with major parties, rejecting micro and local formation, to strategically support a candidate or a party whom they think stands a chance of winning.

If we assume that the relationship between voters and parties is transactional – votes are given in exchange for favors or access to services – then it does not make much sense to support parties who cannot hold up their end of the bargain. If fragmentation of votes the defining feature of Uttar Pradesh politics through the 1980s and 1990s, we see a reversal of that trend.

Soaring shares

Just like in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, where it won 71 of 80 Parliamentary seats in Uttar Pradesh with a vote share exceeding 40% the BJP crushed its adversaries this year.

This was not a close election by any stretch of the imagination and the party, with 39.7% of the votes, stood way ahead its opponents in most constituencies.

Between 2012 and 2017, the BJP scores an impressive gain of 24.7% of vote share, that is more than the total vote share obtained by the Bahujan Samaj Party (22.2%) or the Samajwadi Party (21.8%) in this election.

Before this, the party had peaked in 1993, with a 33% vote share, which had since declined – plummeted, in fact, between 1996 and 2002. In complete organisational disarray, the party retracted to its traditional urban bastions. The reorganisation of the party and the building of branches in rural areas ahead of 2014 paid off back then and three years later as well, as the BJP swept most of the rural segments of the state.

The Samajwadi Party’s vote share (21.8%) is misleading, since it contested in only 305 seats, with the rest going to its ally, the Congress.

If only the seats it contested are taken into account, its vote share rises to 28.3%, just 1% less than in 2012. In contrast, the Congress’ vote share in seats where it contested is only 22%, which indicate that the alliance did not work well.

Comparing the strike rates of parties – percentage of seats won to seats contested – exemplifies the failure of the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance. The Samajwadi Party’s strike rate is a low 15.1%, while the Congress’ share is 6.14%, at par with its previous performances in Vidhan Sabha elections.

In other words, wherever a Congress candidate contested, the alliance under-performed. The large number of tickets given to Congress candidates cost the Samajwadi Party a substantial part of the vote share which, in closely fought races, might have helped reduce the gap with the BJP in terms of seats.

After these elections, the Samajwadi Party, with 47 seats, has been reduced to three clusters. The first is the historic strongholds of Etawah, Jaswantnagar and Mainpuri in Doab, where the members of the party’s founding Yadav family contest. Then, the party has a cluster of seats in Rohilkhand, where the share of Muslim population is the highest, and a smaller share in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, where the Muslim-Yadav coalition, the party’s votebank is strong. A third of the Samajwadi Party’s MLAs are Muslims. In Suar, Azam Khan’s son, Mohamed Abdullah Azam Khan, won with a 25% margin.

The Congress has been reduced to seven seats.

The narrowing competition and the gap between the winning BJP candidates and their opponents heightened the disproportionality of India’s first-past-the-post electoral system.

In other words, the BJP’s 39.7% share translated into 77% seats, while the Samajwadi Party’s 28% vote share (in the constituencies where its contested) yielded just 11% of the seats.

The situation is worse for the Bahujan Samaj Party, which got only 4.7% seats for its 22% vote share, and for the Congress, who had the same vote share (in the constituencies it contested from) but less than 2% of the seats.

The Bahujan Samaj Party has been swept out of its strongholds in Western Uttar Pradesh, where the Dalit-Muslim combination of votes that Mayawati was eyeing did not materialise.

Regional performance

The BJP largely maintained its 2014 performance across the state, except in Western Uttar Pradesh, Eastern Uttar Pradesh in Rohilkhand, where the BJP’s vote share dipped slightly.

Compared to 2014, the Samajwadi Party consolidated its position in Awadh and Eastern Uttar Pradesh. It suffered marginal losses in the rest of the state, but largely maintained its position.

Compared to 2014, the Bahujan Samaj Party improved its position in every sub-region, without exception. This might mean that the party has succeeded in consolidating its core Jatav Dalit base.

The BJP wave becomes apparent when we look at vote swings between the 2012 and 2017 state elections. Not only has the BJP gained in all seats (barring three), it has also gained massively across the state. The BJP no longer has strongholds, as the state has virtually become a BJP stronghold.

Though the Bahujan Samaj Party’s vote share and regional performance improved, if we look at its performance in individual constituencies, it lost more ground than it gained. This might confirm the fact that non-Jatav Dalit voters have deserted the party, especially compared to its composite victory of 2007.

Modi effect?

Did the growing involvement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the campaign – especially in the last two-three phases – translate into a better performance for the BJP? One way to measure that is to look how the the parties’ strike rates changed through the various phases of the election.

The following chart indicates that the BJP started the campaign on a high note, with a strike rate of nearly 90%. The Samajwadi Party became more competitive in the second phase, in Rohilkhand and the Northern parts of Western Uttar Pradesh.

The BJP’s strike rate increased gradually between phase 2 and phase 5, but it decreased significantly, though not consequentially, in the sixth phase. It then rebounded slightly in the seventh and last phase.

It is of course possible that the prime minister’s intervention enabled the party to retain its lead and stay above the 70% strike rate mark, but it did not push the party to higher performance.

Caste composition

The BJP has claimed that it won the election on the platform of inclusive growth, development and by reaching out to those sections that do not get representation from its adversaries – non-Jatav Dalits and non-Yadav OBCs.

But does the composition of the new Uttar Pradesh Assembly reflect that inclusion? Not quite.

The BJP’s return to power signifies a resurgence of representation of the upper castes, who make up 44% the new Assembly. This is 12% more than 2012 and the highest share 1980.

More than 50% MLAs in Awadh, 43% in Doab, 36.6% in the Eastern Uttar Pradesh, 47% in Bundelkhand, 52.5% in Northeastern Uttar Pradesh and more than a third of the MLAs in Rohilkhand and Western Uttar Pradesh are from upper castes.

Interestingly, the BJP’s victory hasn’t led to an overall increase in representation of OBCs, even though many of them won on the saffron party’s tickets.

If we break down these large caste groups, we get a more clearer picture of the changes at work.

As far as the upper castes are concerned, there is a significant rise in the representation of Thakurs and Banias. Brahmin representation remains stable.

While the overall OBC representation in the Assembly stays the same, there has been a historic churning within the category.

The representation of Yadavs has fallen – they now comprise 17% of the OBC MLAs. The BJP strategy of keeping the dominant Yadav clan at bay is reflected in the chart below. Kurmi representation has increased from 11% to 28% of the OBC contingent.

The representation of lower OBCs, a key target of the BJP, has also increased.

The Yadavs are not the only losing group in this election. Muslims, also excluded by the BJP –they did not field a single Muslim candidate – also saw their representation falling.

The share of Muslim MLAs in the new Assembly is the lowest it has been since 1991. In 2012, for the first time, Muslims had near-proportionate representation in the Vidhan Sabha (with 17% MLAs from the community). This has fallen to 6.2%.

Overall, despite its rhetoric of inclusion, the social composition of the Assembly is typical of the BJP: a lion’s share of seats for the upper castes, a preferential representation of lower OBCs, and the exclusion of Yadavs and Muslims (at this time, we do not have sufficient data on the sub-castes of Schedule Caste MLAs).

It is striking to see how the BJP has not changed tracks, in terms of strategy and discourse. The involvement of the prime minister and the focus on development and opportunity for all – while also sending signals to the party’s Hindu base through statements, symbols and acronyms in their speeches – add a layer to the fairly vintage BJP strategy of consolidation of upper castes and the lower OBCs.

Just like in 2014, the BJP has added the new to the old, rather than substituting the two. The popularity of the prime minister has allowed the party to reach much further than it ever could. The failure, more than the defeat, of the Congress-Samajwadi Party alliance will worry those who seek to build an alternative to the BJP.

The Trivedi Centre for Political Data, Ashoka University, produces, disseminates and analyses scientifically collected and treated data to aid research on political processes.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

What hospitals can do to drive entrepreneurship and enhance patient experience

Hospitals can perform better by partnering with entrepreneurs and encouraging a culture of intrapreneurship focused on customer centricity.

At the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, visitors don’t have to worry about navigating their way across the complex hospital premises. All they need to do is download wayfinding tools from the installed digital signage onto their smartphone and get step by step directions. Other hospitals have digital signage in surgical waiting rooms that share surgery updates with the anxious families waiting outside, or offer general information to visitors in waiting rooms. Many others use digital registration tools to reduce check-in time or have Smart TVs in patient rooms that serve educational and anxiety alleviating content.

Most of these tech enabled solutions have emerged as hospitals look for better ways to enhance patient experience – one of the top criteria in evaluating hospital performance. Patient experience accounts for 25% of a hospital’s Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) score as per the US government’s Centres for Medicare and Mediaid Services (CMS) programme. As a Mckinsey report says, hospitals need to break down a patient’s journey into various aspects, clinical and non-clinical, and seek ways of improving every touch point in the journey. As hospitals also need to focus on delivering quality healthcare, they are increasingly collaborating with entrepreneurs who offer such patient centric solutions or encouraging innovative intrapreneurship within the organization.

At the Hospital Leadership Summit hosted by Abbott, some of the speakers from diverse industry backgrounds brought up the role of entrepreneurship in order to deliver on patient experience.

Getting the best from collaborations

Speakers such as Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman and Managing Director - Medanta Hospitals, and Meena Ganesh, CEO and MD - Portea Medical, who spoke at the panel discussion on “Are we fit for the world of new consumers?”, highlighted the importance of collaborating with entrepreneurs to fill the gaps in the patient experience eco system. As Dr Trehan says, “As healthcare service providers we are too steeped in our own work. So even though we may realize there are gaps in customer experience delivery, we don’t want to get distracted from our core job, which is healthcare delivery. We would rather leave the job of filling those gaps to an outsider who can do it well.”

Meena Ganesh shares a similar view when she says that entrepreneurs offer an outsider’s fresh perspective on the existing gaps in healthcare. They are therefore better equipped to offer disruptive technology solutions that put the customer right at the center. Her own venture, Portea Medical, was born out of a need in the hitherto unaddressed area of patient experience – quality home care.

There are enough examples of hospitals that have gained significantly by partnering with or investing in such ventures. For example, the Children’s Medical Centre in Dallas actively invests in tech startups to offer better care to its patients. One such startup produces sensors smaller than a grain of sand, that can be embedded in pills to alert caregivers if a medication has been taken or not. Another app delivers care givers at customers’ door step for check-ups. Providence St Joseph’s Health, that has medical centres across the U.S., has invested in a range of startups that address different patient needs – from patient feedback and wearable monitoring devices to remote video interpretation and surgical blood loss monitoring. UNC Hospital in North Carolina uses a change management platform developed by a startup in order to improve patient experience at its Emergency and Dermatology departments. The platform essentially comes with a friendly and non-intrusive way to gather patient feedback.

When intrapreneurship can lead to patient centric innovation

Hospitals can also encourage a culture of intrapreneurship within the organization. According to Meena Ganesh, this would mean building a ‘listening organization’ because as she says, listening and being open to new ideas leads to innovation. Santosh Desai, MD& CEO - Future Brands Ltd, who was also part of the panel discussion, feels that most innovations are a result of looking at “large cultural shifts, outside the frame of narrow business”. So hospitals will need to encourage enterprising professionals in the organization to observe behavior trends as part of the ideation process. Also, as Dr Ram Narain, Executive Director, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, points out, they will need to tell the employees who have the potential to drive innovative initiatives, “Do not fail, but if you fail, we still back you.” Innovative companies such as Google actively follow this practice, allowing employees to pick projects they are passionate about and work on them to deliver fresh solutions.

Realizing the need to encourage new ideas among employees to enhance patient experience, many healthcare enterprises are instituting innovative strategies. Henry Ford System, for example, began a system of rewarding great employee ideas. One internal contest was around clinical applications for wearable technology. The incentive was particularly attractive – a cash prize of $ 10,000 to the winners. Not surprisingly, the employees came up with some very innovative ideas that included: a system to record mobility of acute care patients through wearable trackers, health reminder system for elderly patients and mobile game interface with activity trackers to encourage children towards exercising. The employees admitted later that the exercise was so interesting that they would have participated in it even without a cash prize incentive.

Another example is Penn Medicine in Philadelphia which launched an ‘innovation tournament’ across the organization as part of its efforts to improve patient care. Participants worked with professors from Wharton Business School to prepare for the ideas challenge. More than 1,750 ideas were submitted by 1,400 participants, out of which 10 were selected. The focus was on getting ideas around the front end and some of the submitted ideas included:

  • Check-out management: Exclusive waiting rooms with TV, Internet and other facilities for patients waiting to be discharged so as to reduce space congestion and make their waiting time more comfortable.
  • Space for emotional privacy: An exclusive and friendly space for individuals and families to mourn the loss of dear ones in private.
  • Online patient organizer: A web based app that helps first time patients prepare better for their appointment by providing check lists for documents, medicines, etc to be carried and giving information regarding the hospital navigation, the consulting doctor etc.
  • Help for non-English speakers: Iconography cards to help non-English speaking patients express themselves and seek help in case of emergencies or other situations.

As Arlen Meyers, MD, President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, says in a report, although many good ideas come from the front line, physicians must also be encouraged to think innovatively about patient experience. An academic study also builds a strong case to encourage intrapreneurship among nurses. Given they comprise a large part of the front-line staff for healthcare delivery, nurses should also be given the freedom to create and design innovative systems for improving patient experience.

According to a Harvard Business Review article quoted in a university study, employees who have the potential to be intrapreneurs, show some marked characteristics. These include a sense of ownership, perseverance, emotional intelligence and the ability to look at the big picture along with the desire, and ideas, to improve it. But trust and support of the management is essential to bringing out and taking the ideas forward.

Creating an environment conducive to innovation is the first step to bringing about innovation-driven outcomes. These were just some of the insights on healthcare management gleaned from the Hospital Leadership Summit hosted by Abbott. In over 150 countries, Abbott, which is among the top 100 global innovator companies, is working with hospitals and healthcare professionals to improve the quality of health services.

To read more content on best practices for hospital leaders, visit Abbott’s Bringing Health to Life portal here.

This article was produced on behalf of Abbott by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.