The Congress party which granted religious minority status to the Lingayat community was heavily relying on its vote bank to win the 2018 Assembly elections in Karnataka. But, the move has not worked to its advantage.
The Lingayats have an influence on nearly 100 seats in the 224-member assembly and makeup 17% of the state’s population. Hence, Congress hoped that by playing the religious minority card, it would split the BJP’s vote base and also woo voters away from BS Yeddyurappa, the Lingayat leader who has been in and out of the BJP since 2012.
But latest reports suggest that the strategy by Congress hasn’t gone in their favor and BJP is all set to emerge the single-largest party in Karnataka and is ahead of the Congress in the majority of Lingayat dominated seats – mainly in north Karnataka (Hyderabad Karnataka) and parts of the central region. Lingayat dominant areas are where the community comprises 15% of the population.
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