How Congress lost Karnataka: Decoding the region-wise shift in voting pattern in these elections

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Updated: May 15, 2018 2:27:33 PM

Karnataka election trends are out and the incumbent Congress, which had made tall claims of winning the elections, is in for a shock.

Karnataka election 2018, karnataka elections result 2018, karnataka election results 2018, karnataka election region-wise results, South Karnataka election results, North Karnataka election results, Coastal Karnataka election results, Central Karnataka election results, Bengaluru Karnataka election results, Overall trends election results,Most of the polls had predicted a hung assembly and around an average of 80 seats for the Congress. What then went wrong for the party this time?

Karnataka election trends are out and the incumbent Congress, which had made tall claims of winning the elections, is in for a shock. The Bharatiya Janata Party, on the other hand, is inching close to the majority mark with every passing second. If the trends hold true, BJP could be set for its biggest win in Karnataka. Most of the polls had predicted a hung assembly and around an average of 80 seats for the Congress. What then went wrong for the party this time?

A change in the trends, particularly in the southern Karnataka region appears to be the reason behind this. Also, a number of minor to moderate changes have also gone in BJP’s favour. Here’s look at how the trends shifted against the Congress in the Karnataka Assembly elections this time around:

South Karnataka (50 seats)

Siddaramaiah brigade’s performance in South Karnataka, a region dominated by JD(S) but overwhelmingly voted for the Congress in 2013, did not go as expected. The region is dominated by the Vokkaligas community which has supported former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda’s party in many elections in the past. While JD(S) has repeated its performance in the region, the BJP has made massive gains, reducing the Congress to a distant third in the region.

Most of the exit polls had suggested around 33 seats for the Congress in this region. The ‘ground reports’ by many in the region had touted Siddaramaiah as a very popular leader in the region, with his AHINDA strategy expected to work wonders for him. However, the trends show that surveys have gone horribly wrong as the party is only leading in 11 seats out of 55.

While the BJP, which was expected to be decimated in the regions, is leading at 18 places, the JD(S) looks set to win 20 seats in the region.

Apart from Vokkaliga community, the region is dominated by backward, Muslim and Lingayats. Congress had a big influence among the Muslim community last time, while the BJP had a good vote base among the Lingayats.

North Karnataka: Lingayat card failed (81 seats)

The Bharatiya Janata Party has made massive gains in North Karnataka, a region dominated by the Lingayat community. Prior to the elections, the Congress government had awarded special category status to Lingayat community, which dominates the region with around 90 seats. The region is further divided into Bombay Karnataka and Hyderabad Karnataka regions having 50 and 31 seats respectively.

The BJP is leading in the region with 47 seats, while the Congress is marching ahead at 26 places, the JD(S) is a distant third at 7 places. In Bombay Karnataka, BJP is leading at 32 places, the Congress is ahead on 15 seats, while the JD (S) is leading at 2 seats. In Hyderabad Karnataka, the BJP is leading 15 seats, while the Congress and JDS are ahead at 11 and 2 seats respectively.

Coastal Karnataka (21 seats)

Coastal Karnataka, which is considered as the laboratory for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and BJP in the state, has delivered desired results this time. In 2013, the BJP had suffered a massive drubbing in the region which has around 21 seats. The saffron party was facing a massive infight in the organisation here and was expected to lose around 7-8 seats here. This time, the party is leading in at least 25 places here, decimating the Congress to 3 seats.

Central Karnataka (35 seats)

As expected, the BJP has again sprung magic in Central Karnataka. The party is leading at 24 seats in the region, while the Congress is currently leading at 11 seats. JD(S) is nowhere in this region.

Bengaluru Karnataka (34 seats)

In the Bengaluru Karnataka region, the saffron party is leading at 15 seats, while the Congress is leading at 11 places. Again, the JDS is nowhere in this region. A neck in neck fight was expected between the BJP and the Congress here.

Overall trends

As per early trends, the BJP is set to form the government in the state with around 114 seats. The party, which fought under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, is set to gain power in its 23rd state. The Congress has been reduced to around 60 seats, while the JD(S) may win around 44 seats in the elections.

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