Institute for Social and Economic Change
Working Paper: 402
Are Elections to Grama Panchayats Party-Less?
The Evidence from Karnataka
M Devendra Babu
That political party systems matter is a well-established theoretical premise; yet, elections to grama panchayats in Karnataka are not held on the basis of political party symbols. With the help of data collected from a large number of contestants to GP elections in Karnataka, this paper shows that most of them are associated with recognised political parties in the state, and that political party affiliation positively influences the electoral outcome. GP elections are to be, therefore, held on the basis of political party symbols as political parties are likely to have a positive influence on economic and social policies, and on improving accountability at the local level.