ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Election Outlook in Karnataka

Trends, Issues and Uncertainties

Karnataka will be going to the polls this year before May. Since 1985, every government, no matter its performance, has been voted out after one term. With the ruling Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party gearing up for the battle at the hustings, this article looks at all the issues that can benefit or hamper their prospects.

The author is most grateful to M Madan Mohan, M B Maramkal, Imran Qureshi and Narayana A, none of whom are responsible for errors here. 

No state government in Karnataka has been re-elected since 1985. Some of the six governments rejected by voters over the last 32 years had performed reasonably well, but faced ouster nonetheless. This grim reality casts doubt on the outlook for any ruling party in the state, including the current Congress government led by Siddaramaiah and which will face the polls before May 2018. Despite some solid achievements, it has encountered severe problems, not the least being three and sometimes four years of drought in different parts of the state.

The Congress also faces a challenge from a party with great political momentum. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) victory in the Uttar Pradesh state election and its subsequent inclusion in the ruling coalition in Bihar lead many to see it as unstoppable. But Karnataka has its own distinctive political logic, and recent tests of opinion give the Congress a lead. So here, with the help of several valuable surveys and analyses, is a guide to current trends, issues and uncertainties.

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Updated On : 6th Feb, 2018
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