What’s New in Karnataka

About the elections in Karnataka, Neel asks:  “Once again. So whats new? Nothing much.”

Ah, but there is something new this time.  Over 30 years back, a constitutional amendment had frozen the map of India’s parliamentary and legislative constituencies to reflect the India of 1971. The moratorium has now ended, and the picture has moved forward to reflect the India of 2001, an India that is much more urban than it was in 1971.  I have reflected briefly on what urbanization means for India’s politics in the January 2008 Pragati 

Karnataka is the first state to go to the polls after the delimitation. Of course, both voters and politicians will take time to adjust to the new situation, but if I am right, this will be the beginning of one of the most significant changes in India’s politics, rivalling the change brought about by VP Singh in 1991.

6 thoughts on “What’s New in Karnataka

  1. As a rule of thumb, I’d expect that urbanization will benefit the BJP – but this is only a rule of thumb. I expect the BJP’s advantage to go down as other parties begin to adjust to the situation.

    In Karnataka, I think that there are other factors to favour the BJP – the “betrayal”, etc.

  2. Except for Congress, I am not sure other parties have that leverage as their base in almost exclusively based on rural identities.

  3. You are right. I missed that aspect of the K’taka polls. The other thing that I see on the ground is that this time, many people really want to go out, vote and ensure that they do it – and I mean professionals – the class that is said to be apathetic to politics.

  4. Another unknown would be the impact of BSP. Last time BSP managed 1.74% contesting in 100 odd seats. This time Mayawati is planning for her party to contest all the 224 seats. A resurgent BSP has so far been bad news for the Congress in other states. We will have to see how it plays out this time.

  5. Yes, even I was surprised by BSP’s rise in Karnataka. Maybe it has to do with increased urbanization. I guess the Congress missed the bus by not reorganizing its party network.

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