Bangalore is where urban-centric BJP can shine


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15 Apr 2013

 
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Bangalore is where urban-centric BJP can shineWhen we look at the history of BJP’s rise in Indian politics, we realise that the party’s rise coincided with the spread and growth of India as a country from an overwhelmingly rural landscape to an increasingly urban demographic. The first thrust of BJP’s growth in the 1990s was essentially an urban (middle class) phenomenon. Thus, historically, BJP has tended to be an aspirational party, whereas Congress has essentially been a poverty-centric entity.

In the 1990s, BJP used to win almost all the big cities of India in the Parliamentary elections. Except for Kolkata, BJP was a force to reckon with in all other major cities of India (even in Chennai, for that matter). The subsequent fall of the BJP over the last decade has coincided with the party’s dwindling control over the urban vote. In 2009 LS poll, BJP lost almost every major urban centre in India, with the exceptions of Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

The nature of urban vote is such that it is easier to win over, but difficult to hold on to. Urban vote can change hands in a single election cycle. For instance, a Manmohan Singh-led UPA in 2009 became the darling of urban voters with considerable ease, but is likely to lose in a big way in less than 5 years. In contrast, rural vote base takes a longer time to build, but also lasts the test of time. Janata Dal in Karnataka and SP/BSP in UP are prime examples of this phenomenon.

Isn’t it ironic that a fundamentally urban-centric aspirational party actually saw negative growth in the new millennium when compared to its growth trajectory in the 1990s? Considering that India is far more urban today than it ever was in its history (including in the 1990s), BJP should have grown at a faster pace in the last decade. Thankfully, all of that is possibly going to change now. The reason why Narendra Modi has become such an important icon for BJP is because he has set upon himself the task of recreating the BJP magic in urban India.

The BKT region: interestingly poised for a dramatic shift

In electoral terms, this last region of Karnataka is neutral, with each of the three main parties having support base in this region. BJP had dramatically increased its tally in these areas last time, but seems to be suffering from anti-incumbency after the party’s longish stint at governance. JDS and Congress are vying with each other to capture this essentially urban vote to dethrone the BJP. The recently-held ULB poll did not cover vast areas of Bangalore, so it is difficult to gauge the trends purely based on those results, yet there are some broad pointers to be found from the ULB polls.

Urban Local Body poll 2013

BJP Congress JDS KJP Others
Bangalore U 9 6 5 0 3
Bangalore R 17 48 41 17 17
Chikkaballapur 7 47 48 5 38
Kolar 21 46 58 1 36
Tumkur 17 77 93 20 27

Assembly election 2008

BJP Congress JDS KJP Others
Bangalore U 17 10 1 0
Bangalore R 2 2 0 0
Chikkaballapur 0 4 1 0
Kolar 2 2 1 1
Tumkur 3 4 3 1

LS polls 2009 (Assembly segment leads)

BJP Congress JDS KJP Others
Bangalore U 20 7 1 0
Bangalore R 2 2 0 0
Chikkaballapur 1 4 0 0
Kolar 3 3 0 0
Tumkur 7 0 4 0

Data Source: Election Commission of India and Karnataka State Election Commission

In the 2008 Assembly election, BJP had won about 22 per cent of its total seats from this region, whereas Congress had got 27 per cent of its seats and JDS 20 per cent of its own tally from here. This is by far the largest of the six electoral regions and accounts for 52 Assembly seats or about 23 per cent of the total seats. The largest chunk of 28 Assembly seats constitute the Bangalore urban district. Although only Anekal CMC was part of the recent ULB polls, the result of that shows an upper hand for the BJP.

Even today, BJP seems to have an edge over its rivals at least in the Bangalore urban district, but the bits and pieces it was able to add from the other four districts in 2008 might not accrue this time around. Thus BJP’s thrust would be to maximise its gains in the Bangalore urban areas. JDS is hoping to dent the Congress strength in the non-Bangalore urban districts of this region. JDS has stood at the pole position in Kolar, Tumkur and Chikkaballapur districts in the ULB poll, so it is reasonably better placed to upset the Congress applecart.

Land mafia, Caste politics and development issues

Traditionally, Vokkaligas are the dominant caste here, which explains the strong presence of JDS in this region. Lingayats are also concentrated in pockets, especially in Tumkur district. A large section of Telugu-speaking population is present in Chikkaballapur district, who have been traditional Congress voters, but now there is a new dynamic of Jagan Reddy for them to cope with. A section of the Tamil-speaking populace is also present in Kolar and Bangalore districts, who usually tend to look for voting guidance from AIADMK and subtle messages from Jayalalithaa.

SCs, STs and minorities form the core vote base of Congress, especially in Kolar and Bangalore rural districts. Most constituencies here will likely see a three-cornered fight. KJP is limited to Tumkur district where a large number of Lingayats are present.

Apart from caste, the major talking points here are development issues. The 28 constituencies of Bangalore urban region might by and large vote on development issues rather than just caste or identity. BJP’s scorecard in Bangalore has been reasonably satisfactory. Better infrastructure like good roads, flyovers and grid separators, Metro connectivity etc. are some of the positives of the BJP Government. Here even the power situation has been reasonably managed unlike northern Karnataka. There have been some issues of water supply and garbage management, but overall ratings are positive.

Although BJP has not got positive Press in this regard, the land mafia menace has considerably reduced in Bangalore and surrounding regions in the last 2-3 years. Yet, the biggest issue in this election, like in every election of recent past, would be of astronomical election expenditure. In 2008, the rough estimate of average expenditure per candidate, per constituency in Bangalore region was Rs 15 crore. This time that figure is likely to go up to Rs 25 crore! With that kind of serious money involved, electioneering here is a nightmare for every political party.

Finally, Narendra Modi could possibly storm Bangalore if he campaigns effectively here. The NaMo factor is being discussed vigorously in Bangalore and Congress candidates are working on contingency plans to counter any last moment campaigning by NaMo. Many Congress and JDS candidates admit privately that they are jittery of spending humungous amounts of money only to lose it all because of an aggressive NaMo campaign in the end.

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  • Rajalakshmi

    What is congress party but a front to carry out the same divide & rule.
    Our curriculum , jurisprudence , unhealthy spread of churchianity- nothing is truly reflective of HINDUS’ Vedic Ethos.

    In the recent India Business Report aired on BBC they equated Sri.Narendra Modi with rahul baba outrageously claiming both have nothing much to offer on “specifics”.

    India under BJP should strengthen its ties with ISRAEL & CHINA. Than trusting UK. We should not get swayed by sops like David Cameroon’s visit or their handshakes with Narendra Modi.

    Nobody talks about class consciousness among the British.And various kinds of subtle discriminations existing in western countries. But for the umpteenth time BBC & western countries would focus on “casteism & dalitism” among Indians. NDTV , CNN IBN etc exist only their mouthpieces.

    This is the reason I insist we should get smarter deporting Meira Kumar’s Jagjivan Ram’s daughter , Spectrum Raja & many such allegedly oppressed “dalits” & various “castes” to UK , USA, Portugal , Spain , Vatican asking them to uplift & empower them as ministers in their own respective countries.

    Thus we can prevent them from occupying our land , resources & exploiting them further. We also prevent them from flying to India carrying vaccines & cartons of Bibles. Once our burden is lightened the ubiquitous churches in OUR HINDUS’ Bharath can be demolished to do extensive cultivation , afforestation & precious pasture land for cows’ grazing. Dairy farming is very important for us as much as agriculture & horticulture to attain self sufficiency. Put a decisive end to cow slaughter & export of beef.This is the ONLY way water scarcity can be overcome. Vedic civilization has always flourished along banks of rivers in pastoral land.

    No need to wait for consensus & worry about food preferences of bangladeshis to various non vegetarians of this world. That is not HINDUS’
    burden. This one very crucial step among many allied ones would ensure health does not become a casualty among us Indians making us grovel before the same selfish manipulative british & western countries as hopeless suckers.

    Deve Gowdas , Bharadwaj the governor of Karnataka, Anand Sharmas & several congressis including sonia gandhi dynasty , crypto christians like samuel rajasekara reddys etc – ALL should be MADE to QUIT Bharath for UK. As they are all anti VEDIC . And pro cow slaughter. DMK also quits as they are anti Ram & pro sethusamudram blah blah.

    Let UK carry their burden. They DO NOT BELONG in HINDUS’ Bharath.

  • Rajalakshmi

    Take a look at Middle Eastern countries. They are not apologetic about enforcing their religious beliefs in governance. Have they been isolated ?

    Similarly HINDUS should stand united under Sri.Narendra Modi & Smt.Jayalalithaa . Ensuring for good we govern Bharath according to our VEDIC Dharma Sasthrams. And do away with muticulti secoolar charades.

    Every other country is fiercely & proudly harping on preserving its identity & culture. Why should us HINDUS permit our Bharath to become a cadaver servicing various inimical parasites ?

    congress , leftists & their allies have always been inimical to HINDUS & HINDUS’ VEDIC ETHOS.

    If muslims can claim their ummah unites them all why not Sri Ram & Lord Krishna UNITE us HINDUS knitting us into one COHESIVE unit ??

  • Rajalakshmi

    However much Hindus construst Temples in various other places outside India
    the same SANCTITY & SACREDNESS can never be duplicated. As samskaras are lacking elsewhere. Only those Temples WITHIN Bharath are “Paadal Petra Sthalam” – have been consecrated by various SEERS & SAGES. Many have poured out their HYMNS WITHIN such Temples.

    The wily christians like Hiranyakshipus have not only invaded and usurped many of our Temples but have also stolen Kohinoor Diamonds to precious jewellery , gemstones petitely calling them nizam of Hyderabad’s personal collections.

    We the HINDU suckers have been left high & dry accommodating & making further space making noises on GDP & free markets , globalizations.
    Why only diamonds & precious gems. Let the british etc take care of all such inimicals & adversaries of HINDUS also within their respective countries.

  • Rajalakshmi

    We HINDUS have got all our priorities thoroughly messed up.
    Why do we always let the western countries set OUR HINDUS’ agenda.
    Hence like idiotised robots measure our prosperity based on umber of cars plying & cricket scores.

    Let me give two alarming examples.

    In the late seventies when I travelled from Calcutta to Tamil Nadu eagerly undertaking a pilgrimage to Chidambaram Natarajar Temple I was shocked to find only various restaurants offering non vegetarian items like mutton do piyaza , tandoori chicken , naan etc all in the very vicinity of Natarajar Temple. I had to exert myself search and search to discover a solitary tiny impoverished Brahmin “hotel” offering traditional ethnic IDLI ,VENN PONGAL & chutney sambar.

    Under EVIL dmk & dk who engineered anti Brahmin riots thus displacing them with non vegetarian fare serving eateries , alcohol , slaughter houses all by INVADING & USURPING LAND belonging to Hindu Deities of respective Temples. Today also the very word Brahmin is not tolerated by the same fanatic folks of Tamil Nadu. “Brahmanaal Hotel” unequivocally means only vegetarian ETHNIC food cooked & served by vegetarians (kosher). Very recently DK’s veeramani agitated in Srirangam asking for such labels to be deleted & the indian courts also ruled in such fanatics’ favour. The oversmart overintelligent BBC turns a blind eye to such dangerous fanaticism preferring instead to harp on the well worn lugubrious dirge of “dalitism & casteism”. In that case why tap into HINDUS’ Ayurvedam & Siddha systems of medicine ? Not just that. The foreigners visiting our Chidambaram Natarajar Temple carrying their cameras etc REFUSE to remove their footwear. Kosher Hindus including the Priests are powerless to enforce . As they have been wantonly divested of all legitimate clout & power by dmk , congress , dk & leftists. Indira Gandhi pulled all possible strings in wreaking as much damage as possible.
    The same inimical tendencies still persist with political patronage.

  • Rajalakshmi

    The other example is Thiruvannamalai the MOST SACRED SHRINE of HINDUS LORD SSiva.

    Lots of foreigners have come to occupy so much so land prices have shot up exorbitantly. Apparently it looks as though they are all “seeking GOD”.

    On closer scrutiny you find lots of swanky shops have been set up right across Ramanashramam selling tinned beef , tinned pork , foreign biscuits , chocolates , olive oil , foreign baked bread…..

    Before cell phones made their all pervasive advent , there was one telephone booth manned by a local arrogant Indian boy. All had to pay the same amount of money for making any long distance and / or local calls. YET , I found him favouring ONLY the foreigners treating them with deference letting them jump queues.

    In one of the rooms occupied by various such foreigners I found one wearing silk saffron robes strumming a guitar & making loud unbearable noises calling it “music”. When I asked him very very very politely ( as foreigners are unduly pampered by the management) to stop it he shot back ” When are you leaving this Ashramam”.

    Whereas a local Hindu woman called Anjalai came to my room asking some questions. At once a foreign woman knocked on my door & SHOUTED:-

    ” Don’t you know we all are taking a nap after our lunch. Why make this noise(!)…is this what Bhagwan has taught you about meditation & silence……blah blah…”

    You find the same foreigners wearing footwear & walking all over. But treated deferentially by the biased management.

    I would like to give some of them benefit of doubt as “seekers”. However I am most reluctant to do so. Based on their duplicitous track record of donning saffron robes posturing as roman brahmin calling Yajur Veda yesur veda & many such chicanery that remain unpunished till date.

    As a HINDU ( not a secoolar asinine IDIOT) I find we are expected to abide by rules set by them in their respective countries which is fair enough. But WITHIN HINDUS’ Bharath & HINDUS’ TEMPLES also us HINDUS are being displaced & edged out.

  • Rajalakshmi

    @ Praveen Patil,

    Congress party is not truly “poverty centric”. Are kamal naths , rahul gandhis , priyanka vadheras , p.chidambarams , digvijay singhs living in cow dung plastered huts existing on one and a half dry roti & quarter cup of thin dal as albaniah ghoul of Calcutta teresa allegedly did ?? Nope.

    Congress which is a front for evangelicals & churchianity HAS to necessarily manufacture poverty to justify their existence “aid” “charities & donations”. The new Pope of Vatican also grandly announced to his followers “go & serve the poor”. Despite having access to enormous amounts of money & resources teresa the GHOUL of Calcutta kept the “orphans” & “poor souls” denied of basic human rights , decent food & medicine to ameliorate their pain. When the inmates cried out in unbearable pain teresa pontificated ” Jesus Christ is kissing you”.

    One of the “souls” even retorted:-

    ” I do NOT want to be kissed thus by Jesus Christ…”.

    We HINDUS have Goddess Lakshmi for prosperity & bounty , Goddess Sarasvathi for Knowledge , Goddess Durga for Might & Power overcoming tamas.

    The word ‘daridhra Narayanan’ is GROSSLY & ERRONEOUSLY explained away as Lord of the “poor”. NOT AT ALL. It means Lord MahaVishnu is so peerless there is none equalling and/or surpassing HIM. Such paucity is conveyed by the epithet “Daridhra Narayanan”.

    Why do we focus on unsustainable objectives calling it decelopment ?
    To have more cars within India means doing away with existing sparse greenery & vegetation.

    Already pure unadulterated honey , rose water , sandalwood and sandalwood paste , saffron , Sacred Ash (that presupposes COWS bred NOT through artificial insemination & fed NOT the entrails of dead sheep , fish in the from of pellets imported which were one of the causes of mad cow disease apart from pesticides sprayed on grass) that are a MUST in HINDUS’
    VEDIC RITUALS are almost unavailable. Only honey made in Germany , Australia , New Zealand , USA & rose water made in Lebanon are the purest.
    We need to learn & manufacture them WITHIN India. Once upon a time honey from Sunderbans available in some select stores in Calcutta was of good quality.

    Rest including Dabur’s is not good & pure.Precious sandalwood gets wasted in funeral rites of indian SCUM called politicians ( Indira Gandhi INCLUDED). It is time BJP unabashedly projects itself as a party for HINDUS & not secoolar multiculti characterless cadaver.

    Hindus have become such mental slaves of the West that our Ramayanam & Sri.Ram & Aanjaneyar no longer suffice for us to oppose “sethusamudram project of tr balus. We wait for opinions from West & satellite pictures of NASA. Sayan Sens commenting here flinch at the mention of Lord Ram & various Deities preferring to go for “scientific explanations”. On scientific scrutiny what are sayan sens but ashes to ashes & dust to dust. Nothing but a mixture of pancha bhuthas.

  • durga

    we luve ur efforts
    please stop the wasting time on e mail/internet reader
    GO DOOR 2 DOOR….LIKE HH VIJAY RAJE SCINDIA
    MIND IT
    1 vote can make a difference




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