Ahinda to Gen Z, all you need to know about the Karnataka elections

the backbone and heart of Congress chief minster Siddaramaiah’s welfare schemes, on the lines of those running in neighbouring Tamil Nadu as well. Ahinda is a Kannada acronym for alpasankhyataru (minorities), hindulidavaru mattu (backward classes) and dalitaru (Dalits). Congress’s key poll plank to retain state.

One of the state’s six regions, Bengaluru has been traditionally BJP turf. Winning margins here were the highest on average in 2013. There’s anger over tawdry infra and Siddaramaiah government’s failure to nab anti-Hindutva activist Gauri Lankesh’s killers and rationalist MM Kalburgi’s murderers.

CASTE: Over 60% of the 6.5cr population are minorities, OBCs, SCs and STs

17-19% Upper caste Lingayats (BS Yedyurappa, BJP) (Influence 120 seats)

17% Dalits + SCs (Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha) (Influence 100 seats)

12-14% Upper caste Vokkaligas (Deve Gowda, JDS chief) (Influence 67 seats)

12.5% Muslims (Influence 66 seats)

8% OBC Kuruba (Cong CM Siddaramaiah)

7% Tribal (ST)

2% Other upper castes

2% Christians

30% Other OBCs.

DALITS: Anger over the Centre’s feeble response to Supreme Court’s watering down of provisions in the SC/ST Atrocities Act is palpable. Union minister Ananthkumar Hegde’s statement that “Constitution needs to be changed time to time” also has been read as the NDA govt’s call against reservation.

EMERGENCY YEARS: This was the period when the Ahinda outreach strategy was first used by Indira Gandhi-loyalist Devaraj Urs, the only K’taka CM to beat anti-incumbency against a powerful Congress faction. Riding on the Ahinda vote, he returned as CM in the assembly election of 1977.

FARM CRISIS: Disquiet is severe; the state has seen 3,515 farmer suicides from 2013 till 2017. About 56% of its people depend on agriculture for their livelihood and have suffered 13 droughts in the last 16 years — it’s the most arid state after Rajasthan.

GRAFT: The mining Reddy brothers, two of whom were indicted by Lokayukta in a scam in 2011, are back with the saffrons — two of them even contesting, BJP’s anti-graft moral ground shaky in poll winds. Congress too is weighed down by graft charges and mega scam charges. A 2017 survey of 20 states by a non-profit CMS showed K’taka to be the most corrupt state in having to bribe for public services.

HINDUTVA: Holding aloft the Hindutva flag, especially in coastal districts of Kodagu and Mysuru, are MLA CT Ravi, and MP Shobha Karandlaje and Union minister Ananthkumar Hegde while CM-nominee B S Yeddyurappa canvasses as a farmers’ leader.

INDEX: It’s India’s third fastest growing state. Bengaluru accounts for almost half the state’s GDP but K’taka is among middling states on social development parameters of health and education.

JANATA DAL (SECULAR): JD(S) founder Deve Gowda hopes to play kingmaker in this do-or-die battle where father and son, one-time CM HD Kumaraswamy, have rejected alliances with BJP and Congress, but have been called “BJP’s B-team” by Rahul Gandhi. The Gowda clan is tipped to tap into the Dalit vote after a first-time tie-up with Mayawati — BSP will contest on 8 of the 36 SC seats.

KANNADA IDENTITY: CM Siddaramaiah’s aggressive pitch for the primacy of Kannada over the north’s imposition of Hindi has won him fandom. In tandem with his government’s decision to adopt a separate flag for K’taka, his anti-Hindi measures were evident when Hindi signboards were removed from Metro stations.

LINGAYATS: This upper caste forms the largest grouping, spread across north K’taka, influencing over half the seats. Traditionally BS Yeddyurappa loyalists, their man is on the backfoot handling Siddaramaiah’s move promising to declare Lingayats a religious minority; 48 of 218 Congress nominees are Lingayats.

MUTTS: Multiple religious sects influence wide swathes and small clusters. Hence, Amit Shah’s visit of 43 mutts the moment he hit the campaign trail and Rahul Gandhi’s similar temple run of at least 20 shrines

NAMO EFFECT: The Modi wave won BJP 17 of Karnataka’s 28 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 but Congress still managed a 41% voteshare. Namo effect is on test here, given the state is the biggest of the four that Congress holds and the party has rarely gone below a 35% voteshare across elections

OOPS! Amit Shah’s campaign began on a shaky note with back-to-back faux pas. First, the saffron chief blurted that the most corrupt government had been their own man BSY’s. The second howler was when Shah’s translator goofed up saying PM Modi will do nothing for the poor. In a third slip, his garland for poet-philosopher Basavanna missed its target

POLITICS WITHIN: CM Siddaramaiah is for all purposes the heavyweight helming the campaign, but some reports suggest Dalit leader and Lok Sabha MP Mallikarjun Kharge may well be eyeing the CM’s post as well

QUOTA: A poll issue that could impact about 50 seats that were won with narrow margins in 2013. Karnataka government passed a bill for SC/ST reservation in promotion in govt jobs, side-stepping an SC order that had shot down the move. One camp is resisting the bill while associations of backward classes and minorities are pushing the Congress govt to notify the seniority list

REGIONALISM: In 2013, 20th century thinker-poet Kuvempu’s poem was declared K’taka’s state anthem. Kuvempu along with 12th century social reformer Basava are the “double helix of (Kannada) cultural DNA,” the CM said. Add to that his pitch that the South subsidises the North. Congress hopes the regionalism card will fetch it votes of Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam-speaking Bengalureans, about 30% of the city

SIDDARAMAIAH: He’s the only CM in K’taka to serve a full 5-year term in the last 40 years, claims he has delivered on 156 of 165 poll promises. Faces strong anti-incumbency, charges of corruption and criticism over his failure to fix Bengaluru’s infra and pollution problems

TAINTED NOMINEES: There’s no getting away from parties fielding tainted nominees, backers vouching for their ‘winnability’. All parties have significant numbers of allegedly corrupt nominees

UNIFICATION of the Kodagu and Kannada-speaking parts of the erstwhile provinces of Bombay, Madras and Hyderabad with the old Mysore state, under the States Reorganisation Act of 1956, formed the new state of Mysore. The state was renamed Karnataka in 1973

VERDICT: The Mecca Masjid verdict acquitting terror-accused Aseemanand is poll fodder with BJP chief Amit Shah targeting Congress over its ‘saffron terror’ comments 

WATER SHARING: Sharing of Cauvery waters settled for now, farmers protesting over sharing of Mahadayi river waters with Goa, went on a 900-day-plus dharna in north Karnataka. Buoyed by Yeddyurappa’s claim that Goa CM Parrikar had promised to share Mahadayi’s waters, the stir shifted to Bengaluru BJP office in December 2017. But the claim fell flat, leaving farmers furious

X-FACTOR: This in reality the ex-factor with all parties leaning on old, reliable faces. Congress, for one, has repeated most of its candidates

YEDDYURAPPA: The return of the ex-CM to BJP has invigorated the saffron camp. BJP’s defeat in 2013 in the state was put down to the Lingayat neta’s exit from the party

Z Generation Z’s oldest members vote in their first poll as they turn 18 — 15L first time voters this time

Source - Times Of India 

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