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The lobbies of Karnataka and how they control the elections


The lobbies of Karnataka always had a considerable amount of sway in the election process. The lobbies play an important part in the election process which begins with the distribution of tickets.

The liquor, mining, education, real estate lobbies are some of the prominent in the state. The elections in Bengaluru are largely controlled by the real estate lobby. Back in 2008, it was the mining lobby in Ballari which was the strongest.

The lobbies of Karnataka and how they control the elections

Elections in Karnataka have for long been controlled by the liquor lobby. No election could be fought without the support of this lobby. However, this lobby witnessed a decline in 2003 after the Karnataka State Beverages Corporation Limited was established. This led to the revenue leaks being plugged as a result of which the seconds' sale came to a halt. With revenues down, the dominance of the liquor lobby too ended to a great extent.

The education lobby:

After the fall of the liquor lobby, it was the education lobby that came to prominence. Leaders who owned educational institutions controlled the show. It was around the same time that the IT lobby too came into the picture. However, the IT lobby was short lived.

The IT lobby became powerful between 1999 and 2004. This lobby was however restricted to having a say in policy matters of the government. There were no contests in this lobby and it stayed away from the election process.

The mining lobby:

The 2008 elections were all about the mining lobby controlled by the Reddys and Lads. The sheer money power of this lobby is what made it so powerful. Right from taking decisions on tickets to transfers, this lobby gained immense control over the political scene in the state. The rise of this lobby saw the Reddy brothers enter politics. Their entry was a grand one and all through the 2008 BJP regime, they had a huge hold over the government. While the Reddys had a say in the BJP for the Congress it was the Lad brothers-Anil and Santhosh.

This time around the lobby has not taken centre stage. Thanks to the probes, the immense corruption in this lobby were exposed. Today this lobby operates behind the scenes and has a hold on areas such as Ballari, Tumkur Chitradurga.

The real-estate lobby:

The southern part of the state has always been controlled by the real estate lobby. The stretch between Bengaluru and Mysuru has a great presence in this lobby owing to the sky-rocketing land price.

This lobby started to make inroads in the state after the real estate boom. It was from the year 2008 onwards the members of the lobby started taking part actively in the election process. In elections prior to 2008, the lobby usually worked behind the scenes.

The real estate lobby in 2013 will have a considerable say in both Bengaluru Urban and Rural, Ramanagar, Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Mysuru and Mandya.

Karnataka Assembly Election dates
Date of notification April 17
Last date to file nominations April 24
Last date to withdraw nominations April 27
Date of polling May 12
Date of counting May 15

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