Monday, 30th October 2017

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Big gains for BJP in Karnataka

Kannada identity major factor in elections

  • Published 23.05.19, 10:36 AM
  • Updated 23.05.19, 9:08 PM
  • a min read
  •  
Former Prime Minister and JD(S) chief H.D. Deve Gowda with his son and Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy (left) offer prayers in Tiruchanoor on Saturday Picture by PTI

The BJP is leading in 25 seats in the state. The Congress-JD(S) alliance may have to settle for far less.

The murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh shook Karnataka in September 2017. Right-wing activists alleged that the assassination was the result of lawlessness in the state. The Congress, on the other hand, blamed right-wingers and their Hindutva politics for the killing. Then there is the question of Kannada identity. The state government has recently promoted the Kannada identity with a new state flag and by giving prominence to the Kannada language and culture. 

Illustration by Rahul Awasthi

The BJP had won 17 seats in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and is likely to win a similar number of seats. Eighty-four per cent of the population is Hindu, with Muslims constituting around 13 per cent of the people. Some media reports suggested that farmer distress could be a major issue during the elections.