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Saturday, Oct 23, 2021
Outlook.com

Pro-Incumbency Factor

Dikshit ends her tenure with a bang. Can she pull along her MLAs for another go?

Pro-Incumbency Factor
illustrations by Jayachandran
Pro-Incumbency Factor
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
A cameo artiste who looks good against the backdrop of a bungling central government? Or a high-vol-tage performer who meets the electorate's expectations? Either way you see it, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit has achieved the distinction of being more popular at the end of her five-year term than she was at the beginning. Political pundits see it as that rare instance of incumbency working as an advantage to a politician rather than against.

In Delhi, what appears a 'positive incumbency factor' is actually performance-linked, say poll-watchers. "It's not that incumbency works for the government irrespective of what it does. Simply put, the voters' mood reflects your work," maintains Yogendra Yadav of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) which has done an extensive opinion poll on Delhi. In Dikshit's case, says CSDS' D.L. Sheth, both her own accomplishments and cumulative disgust with the Centre's ineptitude on various fronts—law and order, the economy, unemployment—have shaped voters' perceptions. "Anti-incumbency is a euphemism for...
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