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Karnataka results: BJP sweeps 'stronghold' coastal region

By Vikas

The BJP has emerged as a clear winner in the coastal Karnataka region which is traditionally considered the saffron party's stronghold. As per latest updates, the BJP won 18 seats in coastal Karnataka which has 21 seats including constituencies from Kodagu and Chikamagaluru districts. The Congress has won 3 seats. As per latest inputs, BJP's Appachu Rajan has won from Madikeri constituency in Kodagu district.

Representational Image

The BJP had fared badly in coastal Karnataka region last time around. Out of the 19 seats in three districts of coastal Karnataka - Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada - the BJP had in 2013 could manage just three seats, while Congress bagged 13 seats.

Even the exits polls have predicted that the BJP would do far better than last time in coastal region. The vote share is set to increase as per exit polls.

Despite the fact that coastal Karnataka has sizeable population of Christians and Muslims, this is where BJP first made significant inroads in the state, and where fringe Hindutva elements find traction.

In all three districts of coastal Karnataka - Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada - voting percentage has crossed 75 per cent, which is 1-3 per cent higher than what it was in 2013 assembly election. It is an abserved phenomenon that when voting percentage is high, then it is usually unfavourable to the incumbent government.

While the BJP has retained the Mangalore seat since 1991, there were significant changes that were witnessed in the late 1990s. The Congress realised that it was losing out on a bastion, which once belonged to it. The BJP accused the Congress of indulging in extreme appeasement. The BJP capitalised on this as it felt that the Hindus were growing insecure and this led to widespread polarisation.

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