Math + Chemistry In Karnataka’s Caste-Driven Politics

The Old Mysore area, as soon as part of the Princely State of Mysore, is a giant deal within the politics of Karnataka. This area, which accounts for near half the MLAs of the state legislature, consists of southern Karnataka and the Bengaluru area. Traditionally, it’s a contest between the Congress and the Janata Party/Janata Dal.

Over the final twenty years, the BJP has emerged as a key participant within the Bengaluru area and has began making fascinating forays into southern Karnataka. The Congress and the Janata Dal Secular (JDS) handed the BJP a golden alternative to penetrate within the area once they shaped an alliance throughout the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The BJP swept the area, barring a number of seats that the Congress and the JDS have been in a position to cling to.

Southern Karnataka has been an everyday within the journey plans of the BJP’s central leaders in latest months. Prime Minister Narendra Modi dropped in on the weekend. It could also be helpful to document that the BJP’s incapacity to safe a majority in Karnataka has a lot to do with Old Mysore. This area is made up of the dominant Vokkaliga caste and the non-dominant backward castes and Dalits. No electoral math for this area is full with out these influential caste teams. 

In latest years, the Vokkaliga vote has been cut up three-ways between the important thing gamers – Congress, BJP and JDS. The Lokniti-CSDS publish ballot knowledge of previous elections signifies that the JDS and the Congress would safe a serious chunk of this vote, with the BJP corralling a small section. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP did exceptionally properly among the many Vokkaliga voters.

The ruling social gathering realises that its potential to swing the Vokkaliga vote is essential to securing a majority. The BJP has assigned its frontline Vokkaliga leaders key areas to supervise throughout the marketing campaign. The social gathering’s intense give attention to Bengaluru, Tumkur, Mandya and Hassan must be considered on this context.

The Vokkaliga neighborhood has been the primary think about conserving the JDS related in Karnataka politics. The JDS management is from this neighborhood, and it has pockets of affect on this area. After a number of splits within the social gathering, the JDS now wins an enormous chunk of its seats from this area. It confronted an enormous setback within the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, when it aligned with the Congress. Its patriarch, HD Deve Gowda, misplaced the Tumkur seat, thought-about to be a Vokkaliga stronghold. The coming elections might be a litmus take a look at for the social gathering to reassert its presence and at the least retain its base within the area.

The Congress is making an all-out effort to pursue the Vokkaliga neighborhood. Its Karnataka chief, DK Shiva Kumar, is a Vokkaliga and his chief ministerial ambitions are hinged on his capability to mobilise the votes of this dominant caste. In a straight contest with the BJP, the social gathering is consciously projecting a Vokkaliga face in its prime management spectrum. Shiva Kumar’s potential to drag in votes is essential to each his and the social gathering’s future. 

The non-dominant backward castes have at all times been a political drive to reckon with, ever since D Devaraj Urs gave them a political voice and stature within the Nineteen Seventies. Within all of the three main political events within the state, the non-dominant backward caste management has occupied key positions within the social gathering as properly within the cupboard, regardless of who shaped the federal government. During the 2013 Karnataka election, the “AHINDA” motion (alliance of non-dominant backward castes and Dalits) of Siddaramaiah helped provoke help for the Congress and pushed it past the half-way mark. The Lokniti-CSDS post-poll survey carried out throughout the 2018 state election indicated that the Congress’s tally dropped sharply due to its sliding help amongst these teams. Siddaramaiah’s aggressive marketing campaign for the Congress as a former chief minister is geared toward successful again this important group.

The BJP, too, is aggressively courting the non-dominant backward caste vote utilizing a number of methods. The give attention to increasing the reservation pool and aligning this section with the social gathering’s bigger Hindutva agenda is a part of this strategy. As the BJP has had a historically robust presence among the many Lingayats (the opposite dominant caste) the hassle to construct a brand new rainbow social coalition does have potential challenges. With its numerical power, successful over a bit of the neighborhood is essential for a win, both by the Congress or the BJP.

The caste arithmetic is important however political chemistry is equally so for cementing social coalitions. Parties that may efficiently sew up a caste coalition and seal it with robust political chemistry, will definitely have the sting.

(Dr. Sandeep Shastri is the National Coordinator of the Lokniti Network)

Disclaimer: These are the non-public opinions of the creator.

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