Politics in the South of the Vindhyas- Roundtable Discussion on Karnataka Assembly Elections, 2023
The Institute for Governance, Policies and Politics held a roundtable discussion focusing upon the Karnataka Assembly Elections, 2023. The discussion focused around important subject matters worthy of debates and discussion.
The Speakers :
Prof. Sanjay Kumar, CSDS, New Delhi
Mr. Yashwant Deshmukh, Director, C- Voter
Mr. Varghese K George, Resident Editor, The Hindu, New Delhi
Mr. Pradeep Gupta, Chairman & MD, Axis my India
Ms. S Bagashree, Resident Editor, The Hindu, Bengaluru
Dr. Manish Tiwari, Director, IGPP
The topic of B. S. Yediyurappa’s tough competency and effect on the local Karnataka population was brought up first in the conversation. He gave the BJP a chance to take power in a southern state. As one of the most indispensable leaders and a charismatic orator who can mobilize support for the BJP, B. S. Yediyurappa is still regarded as an irreplaceable member of the party. But this is where a formidable opponent enters the scene. Siddaramaiah is a potent Congress opposition leader whose standing among MLAs is far ahead. Other candidates’ competency in the elections were also mentioned such as D. K Shivakumar, B.L Santhosh etc.. The Janardhana Party was said to have little influence or relevance in the upcoming elections due to the fact that little had changed or developed in Karnataka during their tenure.
The politics of South of the Vindhyas is influenced by issues such as caste, religion, and language as the region has a diverse population, with different castes, religions, and linguistic groups, each with their own distinct political aspirations and identities.
The politics of South of the Vindhyas is often characterized by strong regional parties that prioritize regional issues over national ones. The JDS has traditionally been a strong player in the region, while the BJP has been making inroads in recent years. The Congress party with the advantage of the ‘rainbow coalition’ has been known to focus on local issues and concerns in the regions where it operates. One of the key strategies that the Congress party has used to address local issues is to create a network of local leaders and workers who have better understanding. Traditionally focused on issues such as agriculture, infrastructure development and employment opportunities whereas BJP is a nationalist party that places interests of nation above all and in Karnataka as well the focus is on national issues by promoting Hindutva ideology.
It was also noticed that the women voters made a significant impact on the polls, especially in Northern Karnataka. According to the speakers, there won’t be deviation from the women voters anytime soon. The women voters do not vote for the religion and caste but vote seeing the real issues and concerns of the society, they added.
Currently in Karnataka, there is a shift of numerous issues such as the Amul- Nandini, Reservations, intense caste calculation, 40% bribe revolt etc. Even though none of these issues appear to have been discussed during the election campaigns, the opposing parties will hold intense election rallies in the next 10 to 12 days. Although they highlighted that the situation may change, the speakers were confident that Congress is ahead despite the fierce battle between the BJP and Congress leaders though they emphasized that the tables can be turned.