Vicky Nanjappa

Journalism for Vertebrates®

The BJP’s caste matrix in Karnataka

Caste plays a major factor in Karnataka, a state that has predominantly been ruled by either powerful Lingayats or Vokkaligas.

For the BJP winning Karnataka is extremely important as it is the only southern state that it has had power. However, the saffron party also had in mind that this is a state which does not usually vote a party back to power. Furthermore, the party has been the single largest party (2004,2008, 2018), but has always not managed to hit the 113 or majority mark.

If one analysis the BJP’s performance in the state, it has been largely dependant on the 17 per cent Lingayat population. This time around the party has decided to give equal focus to the Vokkaliga votes who form 14 per cent of the electorate. When the campaign began Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said that if the party has to win big it should do well in the Old-Mysuru Region, which is dominated by the BJP. The BJP’s strike rate has been impressive in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, but when it comes to the assembly polls, the scenario has been otherwise.

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