Karnataka election results: How Yeddyurappa, Sriramulu helped BJP gain
Lingayat strongman BS Yeddyurappa and tribal leader B Sriramulu have helped the BJP significantly gain in the Karnataka election results. Here’s whyUpdated: May 15, 2018 12:47 IST
The return of Lingayat strongman BS Yeddyurappa and tribal leader B Sriramulu to the BJP seems to have helped consolidate anti-Congress votes and propel the BJP closer to power in Karnataka, election data shows.
Yeddyurappa and Sriramulu walked out of the BJP in 2012 and contested the 2013 assembly election separately, dealing a severe blow to the BJP that got kicked out of power.
“These two leaders were responsible to a great extent for the BJP’s defeat in the last election,” Harish Ramaswamy, a professor at the political science department of Karnataka University, Dharwad, said recently.
Both Yeddyurappa and Sriramulu returned to the BJP in 2014 and became Lok Sabha MPs from Karnataka.
The Karnataka Janta Paksha of Yeddyurappa, the tallest leader of the influential Lingayat community, polled 9.8% votes in 2013 and won six seats.
The Badavara Shramikara Raitara Congress Party of Sriramulu polled 2.7% votes and won four seats. The BJP was down to a tally of 40 seats with a vote share of 20%.
The BJP could have won at least 68 seats — 28 up from its actual tally — had it received the votes the KJP won.
The KJP won 6 seats and put together, the BJP’s final tally could have gone up to 74. If the votes won by the BSR Congress were added to its own, the BJP’s tally could have gone up to 80 seats. This is apart from the four seats that the BSR Congress won.
A similar trend was visible on Tuesday.
The BJP was leading in 95-plus assembly constituencies with a vote share of about 40% at 10 am.
It was doing well, and gained grounds in north Karnataka, the home turf of Yeddyurappa and Sriramulu.
The region has a strong presence of Lingayats, who seemed to have preferred Yeddyurappa over Congress’s promise for a separate religion status for the community.
Minority status for Lingayat was chief minister Siddaramaiah’s bid to drive a wedge into the community loyal to Yeddyurappa and BJP.
The BJP was also gaining in coastal Karnataka, an area with huge Muslim settlement, where the party banked on Hindutva to make inroads.