Moreover, there is no correlation between higher electoral participation and better governance. More voting doesn’t mean better quality government. People can turn out to vote in large numbers because they are angry with the incumbent government. This negative vote often propels the opposition into power which probably has no constructive agenda for governance. As in the case of Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, this can give the party an overwhelming majority which leads to hubris and results in unbridled populism.

Voter apathy and abstention are enemies of democracy. High voter turnout is necessary for democratic accountability but not sufficient to produce electoral outcomes that will deliver better governance. Intra-party democracy has to be at top of any agenda to strengthen our electoral polity. Greater powers need to be devolved to the lowest level because an individual vote will count in panchayat or corporation polls.