Time when parties bond with communities
- CBI sought part RTI exemption, Govt gave it full
- Screen Awards: Milkha, Ram-Leela and Madras Cafe dominate
- DGCA seeks fresh public objections after clearing AirAsia for take-off
- Delhi: 51-year-old Danish national alleges gangrape, 15 detained for questioning
- I wonder if I will be able to ever reunite with my husband, my kids. I miss them: Devyani
Lingayat leaders in the Congress in Karnataka made a representation to the party leadership on Monday, seeking 60 election tickets for members of their community. Meanwhile, leaders of the Janata Dal Secular party of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, including party president H D Kumaraswamy, are on a pilgrimage to Ajmer to send out a signal to minority voters.
In the BJP, new state unit president Prahlad Joshi has been telling people that Lingayat strongman and former BJP chief minister B S Yeddyurappa has been contracted by the Congress to split the Lingayat vote. Yeddyurappa, in turn, has been telling people that without his support the BJP will not get even 50 seats in the assembly polls.
Caste calculations for the May 5 elections, including the missing ingredients in each party's blueprint for victory, are becoming clearer as the parties gear up to finalise their candidates and strategies amid a strong anti-incumbency wind against the BJP.
The Congress knows it needs the full support of one of the two majority communities, each antagonistic to the other — the Lingayats with 17 per cent of the six crore population, or the Vokkaligas with 15 per cent — if it hopes to clinch a majority in the 224-member assembly. This will be in addition to the Congress's traditional vote base of a sizable chunk of the OBCs (33 per cent), SC/STs (23 per cent) and minorities (10 per cent)
"It is generally considered that the Congress will need the backing of a majority community alongside its traditional vote base of OBCs, SC/STs and minorities to seal a majority," a Congress leader agreed.
With the Vokkaligas of southern Karnataka perceived to be largely a JDS vote base, the Congress has been going the extra distance to woo the Lingayats. Last April, Congress president Sonia Gandhi was at Tumkur for the 105th birthday of Lingayat spiritual leader Shivakumar Swami, head of the Siddaganga Mutt. That was seen as a sign of the Congress attempting to build bridges with the Lingayat community, which has strongly identified with the BJP in recent times.
- â€˜Someone should remind the CM weâ€™re also aam aadmi. But theyâ€™ve turned us intoÂ demonsâ€™
- Kapil Sibal to contest from Chandni Chowk in 2014, even if Arvind Kejriwal inÂ fray
- AAP names Bharti victims, uploads eight videos targeting Africans in Delhi
- Arvind Kejriwal likely to pass Jan Lokpal Bill in February, says the fight for new independence hasÂ begun