What went wrong for the BJP in Karnataka?

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BENGALURU: The Congress, which secured absolute majority in the Karnataka Assembly polls, is now preparing to form the new government. While there were a few important factors which influenced the voters, there major one was the caste calculation which benefited the the Congress party in several constituencies.

The Vokkaliga community votes went to the Congress in Old Mysuru region as they were confident that D K Shivakumar would become the next CM. Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Kumaraswamy has been Chief Minister twice earlier and the Vokkaligas may have wanted Shivakumar to become next CM.

Issues like Hindutva, Hindu rashtra and communal issues, apart from some statements on the Muslim community by some leaders may have affected the BJP’s prospects. This time, the Muslim vote was completely on the side of the Congress as they thought it is better equipped to take on the BJP. Issues concerning the hijab, and halal cut, and also the Congress promise in its manifesto to ban the Bajrang Dal may have influenced the community to vote strongly for the Congress.

The another important factor was that the BJP had antagonised the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community during its administration by announcing reservation for Panchamasalis. Another factor was dropping Lingayat strongman B S Yediyurappa from the post of chief minister. Yediyurappa withdrew from the election fray and the BJP failed to retain the Lingayat votes this time.

The another possibility is that the internal reservation announced for Schedule Castes may have turned against the BJP. The Banjara, Lambani, Nayak communities are concerned about reservation and turned to Congress which has promised to undo the reservation.

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