Watchman and incumbent: Has the BJP benefited from the growth of economic activities in large parts of the UP?

Jewar, near Noida, home to an upcoming airport project, has seen multiple protests in recent years. While some farmers opposed the forced displacement, others were reportedly unhappy with the monetary compensation given in lieu of land acquired for the projects.

The assembly contest here was therefore considered a close fight. However, when the results were announced, the incumbent candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won that seat by a wide margin – over 56,000 votes – suggesting overwhelming support for the incumbent.

Jewar is one of the many constituencies in Uttar Pradesh that are witnessing an expansion of economic activities, mainly in services and manufacturing. The Indian Data Portal of the Bharti Institute of Public Policy at the Indian School of Business has mapped the evolution of economic activities between 2015 and 2020 in the 403 constituencies of UP based on data from the pilot light.

Widespread economic expansion in UP, nightly data show

Jewar has seen one of the largest increases in total outreach in the past five years. India Data Portal’s analysis noted that “389 out of 403 constituencies showed a positive change in total brilliance, indicating an increase in economic activities.” He added that 17% of precincts in the state saw a large increase, 52% a moderate increase and 27% a slight increase, adding, “Meanwhile, 0.5% of precincts saw no change and three percent a small decrease. In other words, economic expansion has been quite widespread in UP.

The India Data Portal report, which has yet to be published, noted that “nighttime radiation, tracked from outer space by satellites, is increasingly emerging as a relevant measure of changes in economic activities, whatever their sources (formal or informal sectors) It is also a greater representation of economic activities in manufacturing industry and services than in agriculture.

The radiation mapping technique for larger takeouts is based on the assumption that most economic transactions outside of agriculture invariably result in greater energy consumption – industrial or domestic. More radiation therefore means more economic activity.

Economic activities affect new areas in UP

While an increase in brightness indicates economic expansion in itself, a spike in the percentage of lit pixels suggests that hitherto undisturbed areas are also witnessing economic transactions. The expansion of lit pixels is therefore indicative of the distribution of economic activities.

According to data from India Data Portal, Masrikh, Gopamau, Pratappur, Etah, Husainganj, Aliganj, Machhlishahr and Tilhar were among the constituencies that saw the biggest change in percentage of lit pixels. In other words, in all these constituencies, services and manufacturing activities have entered new territories.

BJP fared well in regions where pilot data showed economic expansion

Incidentally, in the recently concluded assembly elections, the BJP won six of those seats. And in Padrauna, which was considered a stronghold of Swami Prasad Maurya, a former minister who quit the BJP weeks before the elections, the BJP won by a wide margin of 42,000 votes.

According to India Data Portal, “25% of constituencies show a strong increase in percentage change in illuminated pixels, while 64% of constituencies show a moderate and small increase. »

Ashwini Chhatre, executive director of ISB’s Bharti Institute of Public Policy, said: “We have been tracking data from the night light of the four states that went to the polls recently. While the expansion between 2015 and 2019 was marginal in Punjab, the decline in the pandemic year of 2020 was quite significant. In the case of Uttar Pradesh, the expansion, although small, has been significant and the pandemic-induced decline relatively small.

Incidentally, the incumbent president suffered major electoral setbacks in Punjab while the ruling BJP secured yet another term in Uttar Pradesh. Besides electoral arithmetic and chemistry, the expansion or contraction of economic activities may have played a role.

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