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Saffron surge in K'taka: Of gambles well played
Vicky Nanjappa | May 25, 2008 17:10 IST
It just took certain key moves by the Bharatiya Janata Party to create a saffron surge in Karnataka in the assembly elections in the state.
Live Coverage: Battleground Karnataka
The BJP not only managed to keep both Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular at bay but also walked away with the honours in the state. There are various factors that helped the BJP sail through in the crucial elections.
The decision to field a combination of Lingayats, Vokkaligas and the Backwards Castes proved to be a successful mantra for the party.
All parties thought that the BJP would bank solely on Lingayat votes, but the party leadership decided not to tow this line and gave preference to all castes. A division of minority and Vokkaliga votes between Congress and the JD-S also helped the BJP to sail through.
Other factors that helped the BJP win the Karnataka election were the early announcement of candidates and also their manifesto.
The party announced the manifesto at least two weeks before its rivals and the case was the same in case of the candidates too. The BJP believed that by doing so it had a two week advantage over its rivals.
Another mistake that other parties committed was to give too much emphasis to the candidature of B S Yeddyurappa. Both Congress and the JD-S withdrew their candidates from Shikaripur to ensure that Yeddyurappa lost to Bangarappa. They felt the BJP would be defeated if Yeddyurappa lost. However, the ploy went in favour of Yeddyurappa as a section of the voters turned sympathetic to him and his party.