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Karnataka elections: JD(S) maintains stronghold in Old Mysuru region

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    The Janata Dal-Secular which had been tipped as kingmaker in the Karnataka assembly polls has retained Old Mysuru, the Vokkaliga stronghold with 28 seats.

    Deve Gowda

    Historically, the JD(S) has performed much better here than any other region. The BJP has minimum presence here making it a direct battle between JD(S) and the Congress.

    The old caste dynamic, especially the long-standing political dominance of Vokkaligas, has been an influential factor along with the more recent assertion of backward castes.

    Lingayats, the other dominant community, seemed to have played a secondary role despite their presence in significant numbers.

    Part of the old Mysore region also comprises Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's stronghold of Mysuru district. Siddaramaiah, who belongs to the backward Kuruba community.

    The old Mysore region, with a history of development that dates back to its days as a princely State, has played a decisive role in government formation in Bengaluru post-Independence as well.

    In 2013, JD(S)'s vote share of 34 percent was more than Congress' 33 percent. This translated into 25 seats for the Deve Gowda-led party even as the Congress bagged 27 seats. BJP managed to win two seats here while other candidates won five seats.

    BJP's vote share significantly improved to around 24 percent. But it remained lower than JD(S)'s 29 percent and Congress' 42 percent.

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