Ground Issues in Karnataka Elections May Override Caste and Communal Factors in Malnad Region: Analysis


The Karnataka Assembly elections are due and the Malnad region is no stranger to being in the spotlight. Consisting of the Shivamogga, Chikkamagaluru, Kodagu, and the Sakaleshpur district of the Hassan district, the Malnad region is home to some experienced politicians whose play a big part in the State’s politics. Retiring from the electoral race this time, BJP’s BS Yediyurappa has chosen his son, BY Vijayendra to contest from his own constituency of Shikaripura in Shivamogga. As this decision has been made, it will be interesting to see how the voters respond to it.

Similarly, KS Eshwarappa, another big name from BJP in Shivamogga and the Lingayat strongman and Yediyurappa’s associate, MLC Ayanur Manjunath, who formerly served as the MP and MLA too have created a stir. Another interesting factor is the regional dynamics of Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu districts, where BJP won 6 out of the 7 constituencies present in the 2018 elections. Religion-based topics like the Guru Dattatreya Bababudan Swami Dargah, hijab and Tipu Sultan were the dominant talking points amongst the people here.

In the vicinity of the Malnad region, there are a few major issues that are striking a chord with the masses.Farm crisis, land rights, poor infrastructure and other long-standing issues have been the point of discussion in this region with many of the people asking for a permanent solution to all these problems. But with the nearing of the election date, it is feared that the real issues in hand may soon be overshadowed by unnecessary communal talks which will only divide the people further.

CT Ravi, BJP national general secretary from Chikkamagaluru has made an effort to try and provide practical solutions for the farmers and commercial crop growers in this area by making efforts to providing land rights on contract basis as well as trying to include coffee under the Fasal Bhima scheme.

The state government is also trying hard to resolve the human-animal conflicts and price fluctuations in the commercial crops prevalent in this area. Congress has also stepped in with the thought of providing scientific solutions to the people’s problems. In Kodagu district, the core issue is the increasing tiger and elephant menace and hence food and water crises inside the jungles etc. Congress looks to offer a balanced solution to all these problems.

The Congress district president for the region, Dharmaja Uthappa expressed his views in this regard and said that Congress is working hard to resolve the pressing demands of the people in the Malnad region through scientific solutions. It is up to the voters to decide which party is going to be their pick in the upcoming elections and despite all efforts, it is still unclear how the result of this election is going to unfold.

Speaking of the company mentioned in the article, Bharatiya Janatha Party is a right-wing, nationalistic political party in India, and it has been at the center of the Karnataka Assembly Election. The BJP currently holds a majority in the Lok Sabha, the legislative branch of the Government of India. With the upcoming Karnataka Elections due, it will prove to be an interesting time for the party.

The person mentioned in the article is CT Ravi, a BJP national general secretary from Chikkamagaluru. He is currently serving as the MLA of Chikkamagaluru and has been making an effort to provide practical solutions for the farmers, commercial crop growers and other people of the land by making progress in the matters of providing land rights on a contract basis and including coffee into the Fasal Bhima scheme. His efforts in the region have been met with appreciation and much admiration from the people.