Congress outperforms BJP among Lingayat candidates | Bengaluru - Hindustan Times
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Congress outperforms BJP among Lingayat candidates

May 16, 2023 02:01 AM IST

Lingayat, Vokkaliga candidates of Congress performed better than BJP, JD(S) in the recent assembly elections.

The Congress outperformed the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal (Secular) on the winning rate for candidates from the Lingayat and Vokkaliga communities in the recent assembly elections.

Congress candidates from Lingayat, Vokkaliga outperformed BJP (PTI)
Congress candidates from Lingayat, Vokkaliga outperformed BJP (PTI)

The state went to the polls on May 10 and results were announced on May 13. The Congress secured a majority by winning 135 out of 224 seats in the assembly; the BJP came second with 65 seats. The JD (S) won just 19 seats.

Of the 51 Lingayat candidates of the Congress, 38 won, compared with 18 of the 68 fielded by the BJP, a party which considers the community its core vote base. The strike rate of the Congress for Lingayats was second best for the party after scheduled tribes, whose 15 of the 17 candidates won. Of the 44 Lingayats fielded by the JD (S), only two won. Most of the Congress Lingayat candidates won from northern parts of Karnataka.

The Congress’s strike rate for Lingayats (74%) was even better than that of Kurubas (68%), the caste of former chief minister Siddaramaiah, who is the front-runner to become Karnataka’s next chief minister.

The Congress did not do too badly either among the Vokkaligas, the community of state Congress president D K Shivakumar, who is also in the reckoning for the chief minister’s post. The Congress gave tickets to 43 Vokkaligas, of whom 22 won, with a strike rate of 51.16%.

To be sure, one of the 43 Vokkaliga candidates was Darshan Puttannaiah of Sarvodaya Karnataka Paksha (SKP), an ally of the Congress.

Only 10 of the 42 Vokkaligas fielded by the BJP won. In case of JS (S), considered a party of Vokkaligas, only 11 of the 54 candidates from the community were able to win. The JD (S) had seen a five percentage point dip in its vote share compared to the 2018 polls, which was highest for the party in the past two decades.

Like STs, the Congress fared better than the BJP in both scheduled caste (SC) and most backward classes categories, showing the BJP outreach to them by increasing reservations before the elections did not work.

The AHINDA-Linga combination worked well for the Congress. AHINDA is Kannada language acronym for Dalits, Muslims and Other Backwards.

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The only category where the BJP’s strike rate was better than the Congress was for Brahmin candidates. The saffron outfit had fielded 13 Brahmin candidates, of which eight won, with a strike rate of 61.54%. For Congress, only three of its seven Brahmin candidates won, earning its lowest strike rate (42.86%) among various communities.

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