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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Lingayats, Vokkaligas back Cong in Karnataka

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Bangalore, May 11, 2013
First Published: 23:51 IST(11/5/2013) | Last Updated: 01:37 IST(12/5/2013)

The two dominant communities of Karnataka — the Lingayats and Vokkaligas — who have been supporting the BJP and the JD(S), respectively, are now gradually switching loyalties towards the Congress.

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Of the 121 Congress candidates who won in the May 5 elections, there are 29 Lingayats, 18 Vokkaligas and 27 from the other backward classes (OBCs).

The Congress had a strong Lingayat vote bank when S Nijalingappa headed the government in the 1960s, or even when Veerandra Patil became chief minister for the second time in 1989.

CM-designate Siddaramaiah, an OBC leader, could manage to swing the backward classes’ votes in favour of the Congress.

The backward classes heavily voted for the party, 27 of whose OBC candidates won out of 36 in that category.

Political analyst Dinesh Amin Mattu said the Lingayats and Vokkaligas supporting the Congress was a new trend. Though the BJP had given the ticket to a good number of Lingayats, the people rejected many of them.


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