Will Lingayats become troubleshooters in Karnataka? Why Congress was kind to distribute tickets

Karnataka Assembly Elections: Political parties are engaged in preparing equations regarding the assembly elections in the election state of Karnataka. Congress leaders from the state’s dominant Lingayat community have demanded tickets for 55 seats in the 224-seat assembly. Even before the announcement of the elections, there was a significant tilt of political parties towards the Lingayat community in Karnataka. The Congress has so far released two lists of candidates for the assembly elections to be held on May 10. The first list of 124 candidates was released on 25 March and the second list of 42 candidates on 6 April. Out of these 166 tickets, 43 candidates have been selected from the Lingayat community. Let us tell you that in the 2018 assembly elections, the Congress had allotted only 43 tickets to Lingayats. However, the list of remaining candidates is yet to be released.

The Congress party is seeing the BJP’s decision not to project prominent Lingayat leader BS Yeddyurappa as its chief ministerial candidate as an opportunity for itself. The Lingayat group in the Congress sees this as a good chance to garner the support of the state’s largest community in the polls even though their party is not projecting a Lingayat as the chief ministerial face.

State Congress working president and Lingayat leader Ishwar Khandre said Lingayat leaders had raised the demand for more tickets for members of the community a month ago. The first two lists of Congress candidates have clearly indicated that the party is in a mood to give more tickets to Lingayats this time than in 2018.

Congress has deep penetration among Lingayats

However, the data shows that the Congress has its own influence in Lingayat-dominated areas. Congress always gave a tough fight to BJP. In the 2018 assembly elections, the Congress outperformed the BJP by securing 38% of the vote, marginally ahead of the BJP’s 36.22%. Five years ago, the Congress got 36.59% of the vote, pushing the BJP to third place. In the 2018 assembly elections too, the BJP fell short of a majority in the assembly due to a tough fight.

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