Reaching out to the Lingayats: How BJP managed to crack the Karnataka code
Bengaluru, July 28: There was plenty of suspense ahead of the BJP announcing the next Chief Minister of Karnataka. When the name of Basavaraj Bommai was announced it became amply clear that the BJP sought to send out an assurance to the Lingayat community in the state.
Political observers say that the appointment of Bommai sends a clear message that the party was not willing to risk losing its Lingayat vote bank. It is the votes from the Lingayats that has largely made the BJP a dominant force in Karnataka.
Further the party also had in mind the fiasco committed by the Congress in the 1990s when it sacked Lingayat strong man Veerendra Patil following which the party paid a very heavy price.
Observers also say that the BJP could not afford annoying Yediyurappa as it did not want a repeat of the 2009 scenario, following which he went on to form the Karnataka Janata Paksha under which he contested the 2013 elections. In that elections the BJP was reduced to the third position.
The Lingayats constitute nearly 18 per cent of the population of the state and BSY has a strong following among them. Angering BSY would mean angering the community and this could have a bad effect in the forthcoming elections in the state.
As of now, the BJP seems to have cracked the code. The next move to watch out for is how the party will accommodate Yediyurappa's son B Y Vijayendra. There has been plenty of speculation that he may be given a bigger post in the party. However as of now, the BJP has managed to avert a crisis, following the exit of B S Yediyurappa.