The Complicated Caste Math Of Parties In Karnataka

The Complicated Caste Math Of Parties In Karnataka

Karnataka has 36 seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and 15 for Scheduled Tribes.

In mid-April, the elections in Karnataka reached an odd inflection level. The Congress narrative pivoted to place forth a message that “Lingayat” voters had been betrayed as a result of the BJP sidelined former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and denied a celebration ticket to Jagadish Shettar. By providing sympathies to the 2 Lingayat leaders from the ruling get together, the Congress get together hoped to sway Lingayat voters who’ve historically aligned with the BJP.

Elsewhere in Southern Karnataka, the hassle to reel in Vokkaligas – who historically align with the Janata Dal (Secular) or Congress – has seen the BJP lengthen reservations to the neighborhood, construct mammoth statues of Vokkaliga ruler Kempegowda, and even push for the narrative that Vokkaligas figures had killed Tipu Sultan within the seventeenth century. 

Caste stays an enormous issue within the Karnataka election, with events making an attempt social engineering on the constituency stage to seize most votes. This is mirrored most starkly within the candidates chosen by events.

Nearly 45% of the candidates picked by the Congress, BJP and JD(S) are from the Vokkaliga or Lingayat neighborhood. The BJP has the best variety of candidates from the Lingayat neighborhood; JD(S), whose management centres round HD Deve Gowda’s household, is dominated by Vokkaliga candidates.

Party strategists from throughout the spectrum agree that the candidates don’t replicate the caste composition of the state – as a substitute, they replicate the political dominance of sure castes in Karnataka’s politics. Karnataka has not launched figures of a caste census performed in 2017-18. However, unofficial estimates peg Lingayat voters anyplace at 14-18% of the inhabitants; and Vokkaliga inhabitants at 11-16% of the inhabitants.

The 2023 patterns are much like that in 2018. For the second consecutive election, the BJP has not fielded a candidate from the Muslim or Christian neighborhood. In 2018, the Congress tried to return again to energy by way of their AHINDA technique – a Kannada abbreviation for minorities, backward courses and Scheduled Castes. In 2023, just below a half of their candidates are from these sections of society.

Table: A caste breakdown of candidates within the Karnataka election


A bulk of North Karnataka is Lingayat-dominated, whereas an amazing majority of Bengaluru and Southern Karnataka candidates are Vokkaliga. The proportion of Other Backward Castes is highest in Coastal Karnataka because of the presence of a giant Billava inhabitants (by most estimates, nearly two-thirds of the inhabitants). The BJP banks on the Hindutva vote and the recognition of Narendra Modi right here. The Congress is hoping to make use of caste math towards Hindutva by fielding Billava candidates in constituencies the place the BJP candidate is from the numerically smaller, however politically extra highly effective Bunt neighborhood.

Region-wise checklist of caste illustration in candidates in General constituencies


When all three events area candidates from the identical caste

In 46 basic constituencies in Karnataka, the Congress, BJP and JD(S) have fielded candidates of the identical caste. Some 21 of those constituencies function Lingayat candidates – a majority of those constituencies are in Northern Karnataka – and 25 constituencies have Vokkaliga candidates (all in Southern Karnataka). In Lingayat seats, most incumbents are from the BJP, whereas for Vokkaliga seats, it’s the JD(S) that dominates.

46 basic constituencies the place BJP, JD(S) and Congress have fielded candidates of the identical caste in 2023


In Head to Heads:

This 12 months, the Congress and the BJP – who’re cumulatively anticipated to win the majority of constituencies within the state – have fielded candidates from the identical caste in 76 constituencies.

This is an uptick from 2018, when the Congress and BJP had fielded candidates of the identical caste in 70 constituencies. Of these, BJP gained 31 constituencies, the Congress gained 22, and the JD(S) scooped up the remainder, primarily within the Vokkaliga-dominated pockets of Southern Karnataka. 

In 33 seats the place Lingayats from the Congress and the BJP went head-to-head, the BJP gained 19 seats in comparison with the Congress’s 12. In 28 constituencies the place the Congress and BJP fielded Vokkaliga candidates, the Congress gained eight constituencies, BJP 6, and the remainder was gained by JD(S).

Table: Constituencies the place events are fielding candidates of the identical caste


Sub-caste vs Sub-caste

In mid-April, the BJP denied a celebration ticket to former deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi. The Congress jumped on the chance and provided him a seat. The Congress’s calculations rested on Savadi’s stature, not as a Lingayat chief however as a pacesetter of a Lingayat sub-sect known as the Ganigas. Similarly, with the entry of former BJP Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, the Congress hopes to carry sway amongst a sub-sect of Lingayats known as Banajigas. The Congress has fielded three Ganiga candidates and 4 Banajiga candidates.

The BJP’s affect is taken into account strongest among the many Panchamshali Lingayats, a numerically dominant neighborhood throughout the Lingayat caste. The BJP has 18 candidates from this sub-caste, in comparison with 14 from the Congress. The BJP authorities’s latest announcement to extend the quota for the Lingayat neighborhood by 2% was meant to placate leaders of this sub-caste who had protested for 71 days to push for reservations for Lingayats.

The sub-sect caste calculation is probably most stark in seats reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates.

Karnataka has 36 seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and 15 for Scheduled Tribes. The many communities of Scheduled Castes have been historically categorised into 4 classes for inside reservations: ‘Left’ Scheduled Caste communities thought of extra oppressed; ‘Right’ Scheduled Caste communities who’re largely agrarian; ‘Touchables’ that embody the nomadic Lambani neighborhood; and others.

While the Lambani have historically voted for the BJP as a result of Yediyurappa’s affect; the Karnataka authorities’s latest resolution to revise the interior reservations throughout the Scheduled Caste neighborhood yielded greater reservations to the ‘Left’ Scheduled Caste. The political calculation was it will assist herald votes from these communities.

Within the Scheduled Caste-reserved seats, the BJP has given 11 seats for candidates from the ‘Left’ sections and 10 from the ‘Lambani’ sections.

The Congress, alternatively, has given 16 to the ‘Right’ Scheduled Caste (whose neighborhood consists of Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge) and simply 5 to the ‘Lambani’ sections.

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart