Do Lingayats blindly support the BJP en masse?

B.S. Yediyurappa has returned from the pristine sands of Mauritius to the urban jungle of Bangalore, only to say the most predictable thing with the most predictable scowl: that he will not, repeat not resign from the post of chief minister merely because some silly Lok Ayukta has shown his hand to be full of dirt and grease and slush.

With that, the Lok Ayukta, Justice Nitte Santosh Hedge, joins a long and continuing list of worthies whose efforts to show that the CM of a once-progressive State is himself upto no good, has come to nought. For the moment, of course.

How does Yediyurappa brazen it out time after time?

How does his party find him beyond reproach?

Indeed, how do the people forgive him so easily?

The hot money has been on “Lingayats”. Lingayats, so the conventional wisdom goes, were maha-miffed with the Congress for the kind of treated out to Lingayat chief ministers such as Veerendra Patil (who was unceremoniously given the marching orders by Rajiv Gandhi).

That the credit of winning over Lingayats to the BJP en bloc goes to Yediyurappa. That without their support (and that of the Brahmins), the BJP would have never come to power. That it is Yediyurappa who has turned Lingayats into a potent political force a la Vokkaligas. That the Lingayat mutts hold the key to the Lingayat voting mind.

In short, if he is thrown out, despite all this muck, the BJP will meet the same fate as the Congress. Etcetera.


James Manor of the school of south Asian study (SOAS) of the University of London, wrote these paragraphs in an article titled “The trouble with Yeddyurappa” in the Economic & Political Weekly three months ago:

“The chief minister often tells national leaders that his fellow Lingayats give the party an unassailable base. Those leaders, from northern and western India, do not understand that this is untrue. Lingayats account for only 15.3% of the State’s population as a survey by Sandeep Shastri (based on the third backward classes commission report of Chinnappa Reddy, 1990) points out.

“And even in areas where they are concentrated, many years have passed since they could influence other groups’ voting decisions. Devaraj Urs brought the non-dominant majority into play as a politically sophisticated force in the 1970s, and since then, caste hierarchies have lost much of their potency in rural areas.

“The BJP’s national leaders fail to recognise that when Lingayat chief ministers like S.R. Bommai after 1988 and Veerendra Patil in the early 1990s favoured their caste fellows excessively, as Yeddyurappa has done, the other groups have combined against them. Inclusive, diverse social coalitions have always been needed, since Urs, to win State elections.

“The national leaders also apparently fail to grasp that the BJP’s modest “success” in the recent panchayat elections—which Yeddyurappa has used to justify his continuance in power—actually entailed significant declines in the party’s vote share in several key sub-regions since the 2008 State election (at which the BJP failed to win a majority of seats).

“Most of those lost votes occurred among non-Lingayats, despite the BJP spending on the panchayat elections being much greater than that by rival parties. Crudely speaking, non-Lingayats have tended to combine in support of the Congress in most of northern Karnataka, and in support of the Janata Dal-Secular in most of southern Karnataka.”

Read the full article: The trouble with Yeddyurappa

Link via Prithvi Datta Chandra Shobhi

File photograph: Chief minister B.S.Yediyurappa at the 104th birth anniversary of former deputy prime minister  Babu Jagjivan Ram, at the Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore in April (Karnataka Photo News)

Also read: Chetan Bhagat has some advice for Lingayats

Has the BJP lost all sense of shame in Karnataka?

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35 Responses to “Do Lingayats blindly support the BJP en masse?”

  1. clash Says:

    Super pick. I wonder why the BJP national leader fall for this lingayat drivel.

    I wonder if there is more to this black mailing that is always done.

  2. Objectivist Mantra Says:

    Lets have a law stating that every chief minister or elected MP or MLA who has ever used any discretionary power or subverted the law to grab even “one millimetre of land” should resign, and also be banned from participating in the electoral process for at least 10 years.

    The parliament should take very strict action against land grabbing by powerful elite. Let the law be same for every CM, every politician.

    We can’t just keep creating “straw-villains” all the time. We need to have a system that ensures that in future such crimes are not possible. The prime real estate in every part of the country belongs to the politically connected class.

    The leaders and their cronies have cornered some of the best palaces, while middle class people are being forced to live in overcrowded urban slums. This is completely unfair.

    The problem is that the political class is out of touch with reality. They don’t understand how much frustration this continious stream of “Breaking News” about corruption is causing in the aam admi.

  3. shankar Says:

    “Crudely speaking, non-Lingayats have tended to combine in support of the Congress in most of northern Karnataka, and in support of the Janata Dal-Secular in most of southern Karnataka.”

    … one example – Ramanagara – considered a fortress of JDs , BJP wins in recent bypoll. and this guy from london tries to transfer his abundant gyaan on how JDs is gaining support in southern karnataka !

  4. Mandar Says:

    I am with Yeddy on this one. It’s getting a bit tiring to look at this mob cum media circus and justice. Whatever happened to innocent till proven guilty? It is as if Raja, Kalmadi, Kanimozhi and others are already convicted and sentenced in the court of law. In reality, the courts have just begun the hearing. Now we will add Yeddy to that list. Is that fair? Why even have the trials if the people and media have already decided on the guilt of these folks?

  5. Vitlan Potli Says:

    El Stupido! Churumuri, is this really a question? your slip is showing spruce up your act pronto.

  6. A Journalist Says:

    Who is this James Manor? A stupid man. His understanding of castes and their role in the electoral politics of Karnataka is pathetic.

    Let BJP throw Yeddyurappa out. He will prove James Manor wrong.

  7. Simple Says:

    Shankar Sir

    For one Ramnagar your quote, there is a Gulbarga and a Bidar assembly seat and seveal panchayat seats that the BJP has lost (in assembly segments ruled by BJP). The Panchayat election is a clear indication of the dwindling fortunes of BJP.

    Brilliant analysis by James Manor. I can sense a revulsion among non Lingayat BJP supporters. Moreover the High Command is really overestimating the strength of BJP.

    If BSY goes out of the party, not even 5 MLAs will go along with him and in case he forms his own political party, he can be assured of being wiped out. His party will get nothing more than 5 seats.

    Proof:? look at what happened to all CMs expelled from BJP – Uma Bharati . Madan Lal Khurana . Suresh Mehta. Keshubai Patel. Kalyan Singh. Where are these men now? Twiddling their thumbs in some corner.

  8. Kirikiri Says:

    Enri idu? Idoo ondu prashnena? As Vitlan Potli says you are asking a very stupid question. Is it the sun that shines during the day? my..I really don’t know!

    For all our protestations about casteless society and politics, the reality is quite different and stark. It’s just that many of us are not willing to acknowledge it.

    Is it a secret that Muslims prefer Congress? Is it a top secret Vokkaligas prefer JD-S? Is it really a secret that Lingayats and brahmins prefer BJP?

    It has been vote bank politics for quite a while in our country and our state. Some play with religion and some play with caste. That’s the only difference.

  9. kingfisher Says:

    ee kathe heg aythu andre. Naav madiddre chamatkara bere avr madidre bala**ara…. thats the scenario of oppostion parties in the state.

  10. Alok Says:

  11. shankar Says:

    @simple ,

    if you are comparing panchayat election results, compare it with that of earlier panchayat elections.

    In the 2005 elections , BJP had just one ZP , where as in 2011 they got 12 as compared to 4 each of cong / jd s. from 1 to 12 is a definite increase as per basic maths, but for followers of “zero loss” kapil sibals party, maths was never a plus point. ( imagine still maintaining that there was no loss in 2g scam Pm should immediately make sibal the minister for food & civil supplies, I am sure he will announce in a press conference that there is no backbreaking inflation in india but what we infact have is deflation ! )

  12. sanjeeva Says:

    Stupid article. Does not make any sense whatever. Does not the question purport to casteism? When is the media going to come out of its prejudiced views. At a time, when every Thammanna, Dikkanna and Hariappa declares himself from the roof top about secularism and all such kinds, it is rather surprising that the media thinks in terms of caste! Hello, are we not in 21st century? It is hard to believe that people still cast the votes based on caste of a candidate, instead of his capabilities or otherwise.

  13. Prabhu Says:

    Pity on you churumuri….. a poor putting forward some junk guys article…..
    Truth about Karnataka politics today is, people are fed up with the misrule of Congress and JDS for all these years.compared to the dacoits of Congress, JDS, Yeddi looks like pickpocketer. So even though Yeddy is corrupt people are with him or I would say with BJP.

  14. Simple Says:


    Sibal Kapil is 100% right. There are several ways of looking at the so called loss.

    If first come first serve basis policy was formed by Vajpayee, What Raja did was merely followed that policy.

    Therefore, there can be no loss – since auctioning was never a policy either formulated by Vajpayee or UPA or TRAI. There was no rule or framework which said that auction should be followed.

    If there was a policy of auctioning, and Raja didn’t follow it, then you can say that there is a loss. That is why CAG has said that the loss is notional.

    Simple really.

    Yes, BJP has increased its panchayat seats compared to the earlier panchayat election. BUT.

    The fact is BJP is the WORST PERFORMING RULING PARTY in the Panchayat elections. Therein lies the dangerous signal.

    Congress and JDS, when they were ruling the govt, got thumping majorities in Panchayat. BJP got significantly less number of seats, compared to what Congs and JDS got when they were ruling Karnataka.

    Read the writing on the wall.

  15. Rastrakoota Says:

    Looks like Yeddy is finally on the last lap. Its not anymore tenable to the party wid the difference to be holding on to him.(eww it never was!!). May be it is time he will hand over a couple cows or an elephant vey very shortly to his favorite mutt and bid adios! Or will he?

    How I wish our athletes were as singleminded in their discipline and perseverance towards acheiving medals the fair way (instead of injecting drugs for glory!!!) with offcourse prayers to the almighty!Yeddy-the survivor, you have indeed set an Insurmountable example!

    Its time -***K off!

  16. 'mudi' malnad Says:

    BSY thinks
    jan(g)aDHeesharaadhode BHrashtacharakke(&janakke) anjiDHode enthayya”
    Matadhipathis think
    “LingaDHariya mukyamanthriya maadi
    BHrashtacharakke anjiDHode enthayya”
    So even chennamallikarjuna can’t do anything and helpless!

  17. Alok Prasanna Kumar Says:

    I’d written about this sometime back

    The Lingayat argument could be turned around and put in the national context in the following manner:

    “Congress shouldn’t get too comfy about Muslims voting for it because all Hindus will get together and vote against it if it favours Muslims too much!”

    Apart from the fact that the data proving this is from exactly one sample-size, (both in the context of Lingayats and Muslims) it does not examine the deeper issues that prompt Lingayats voting in Yeddyurappa that go beyond a mere issue of identity and votebank politics.

  18. shankar Says:

    simple, if sibal is 100% right and raja did no wrong , why is raja cooling heels in jail now ? Just ask your soniamma to withdraw the case , tell the court that raja did nothing worng and pack him off to chennai to enjoy his thair saadam at home. Why waste everyones time by conducting trial for a case , when there was no crime?

    Your fine print on ZP election results does not really wash. may be it is time for you to see the writing on the wall.

  19. Mathihalli Madan Mohan Says:

    BJP came to power in Karnataka through the mobilisation of lingayats votes and that Yeddyurappa secured their support with the help of lingayat swamijis is nothing but a political myth. It is travesty of truth too.

    But the BJP rose to power mainly because of the rallying round of the anti Congress voters in its favour mainly because of their perception that after the fall of the JD. the BJP is the only credible political alternative available.

    This is borne out by the fact BJP was relevant as long as the JD floated as part of experment of third political front was in tact. As a matter of JD won the polls thirce, in 1983, 1985 and 1994.

    It is only when the factionalism and schism took its toll and made the JD leaders commit political harakiri, that the BJP got the chance to fill the antiCongress slot. BJP was political irrelevant as long JD was going strong. The credit for BJPs rise to power should go mainly to Mr Devegowda, the destructor in chief of the undivided JD.

    BJP.s access to the voters in Karnataka, came via Ramakrishna Hegde, mainly as an offshoot of the alliance between them to fight the loksabha polls. Yeddyurppa took advantage at the opportune time when the political vaccum appeared.,

    Northern Karnataka districts were once a bastion of Congress. But it changed after the way Veerendra Patil was treated. It was not a lingayat but a bramhin like Hegde, who emerged as the unquestioned leader of the lingayats

    Even today Northern Karnataka districts ofcomprising of twelve districts of Bombay and Hyderabad Karnataka, play the role of king makers in Karantaka. Whoever wins more than half of total of 95 seats of the region, moves upto third floor of vidhana soudha. It has been the same case with BJP.It got its bulk of the seats from this region..

  20. Goldstar Says:


    I appreciate your strong data points and arguments you put up about the Karnataka politics and local elections.

    But for God’s sake, don’t keep putting your foot in your mouth, justifying the mammoth 2G scam and A.Raja’s policies.

  21. Simple Says:

    GoldStar and Shankar

    Please read what I write carefully. Sibal Kapil is right is so far as saying that there was zero loss to the govt. But what Raja did was to give out of turn licences, by changing the cut off date, for which he took bribe.

    For this, he is in jail. he is there for having been bribed. Not for having caused loss to my India.

    Simple really.

    Fine print does not wash did you say? There is only one way to debate – based on stastics and facts – the rest like you all do is presumption and assumption and notional ! like the 2g loss.

  22. Goldstar Says:


    Keep living in la-la land saying there was no loss in 2G.

    2G spectrum is a resource and a limited resource. Any limited resource which is being claimed by multiple bidders has a monetary value. If you give-away a resource for free, it is a loss to the government. Even in the mining scam in Karnataka, the scam is that valuable resources are not auctioned transparently but mining licenses are just given away illegally for throwaway prices or using discretionary powers.

    There is definitely room for argument whether the loss was 1.76 lakh crores as CAG put it or 50-60 thousand crores which many other economists put the figure for the 2G scam. But there was a loss.

  23. Curry Hurry Says:

    IF the loss is notional, then how did the shell companies make a profit. If there was no crime then why are they trying to tar Vajpayee?

    Notional. Really? Dig into the sale of rights to resources in the Godavari basin, the copter crash, sale to BP. And Drum Singh’s loot was notional too? Why is DKShi so quiet? Are his mining interests still protected?

  24. Simple Says:

    Gold Star

    There are ways and ways of looking at it. 1.7 lakh crore is one estimate. 50 k crore is another estimate. zero is another estimate.

    So which one is correct? I prefer to go by zero simply because Raja followed the policy of Vajpayee. If Raja is guilty so is NDA sarkar.

    Dharam Singh if he is guilty, then let him be investigated and prosecuted.
    Simple really.

  25. Goldstar Says:

    The policies of predecessor government just cannot be a justification.

    In the seven years of stupendous telecom growth between 2001 and 2008, spectrum turned into a precious resource. A.Raja realised this, the TRAI recognised this (they did propose auctions), the finance ministry and MMS recognised this but did nothing save a few letters to A.Raja (which were promptly ignored). All the private companies involved realised this and coveted this ( so they were willing to bribe to get it ).

    If a government now “gives” away blocks in Rajasthan or in the KG basin knowing fully well that oil/gas can be discovered there under the pretext that previous government/ the British government/ Mysore Maharaja did the same, will you accept it?

    Sorry, I don’t.

    By your argument, are all the mining losses are notional too? The government didn’t have the money in the first place.

  26. Simple Says:

    Gold star

    Mininig loss is not notional, because several established govt, rules and policies were broken. this is against law. hence loss is real.

    In so called 2g scam, there was no policy or rule or guidlines to follow auciton. hence loss is zero, it is not illegal to follow first come first service.

    in 2g so called scam, it may be bad policy but not an illegal policy

    in mining scam, it is illegal, because rules were broken.

    Simple really

  27. Goldstar Says:


    2G Scam – Give away valuable resources (spectrum) for free to crony companies in return for cash/investment to Sun TV/Kalaignar TV, several trusts run by the DMK.

    Karnataka Scam – Give away valuable resources (mining land, BDA land, KIADB land ) for free to crony/Reddy companies in return for cash/investment into several trusts run by the Yeddy and Reddy bros.

    same to same… no?

    I ask you again. Was the 16,000 crores in the Karnataka scam in the government account? Or did K’taka government buy the land/licenses at a higher price earlier and Yeddy sold it at a lower price? By your logic, only then it can be considered as “real” loss.

    ps – last post on this.

  28. Simple Says:

    Gold Star

    Giving away valuable resources like spectrum is not illegal when there exists no govt policy or rule for auctioning.

    Giving away valuable mining resources is illegal when govt rules and policies are broken.

    Bribery though is wrong. hence Raja is in jail.

  29. Nastika Says:

    @Simple, loss is loss is loss.
    Can you tell why the Raja’s boss (MMS) didn’t check on him?

  30. Goldstar Says:


    I am breaking my own rule of no new posts on this… Perhaps, I should have written this in the earlier comment itself.

    I am not arguing the legality of the 2G scams vs the Karnataka scams. Both are illegal (in my opinion) and, in fact, I am afraid Yeddy may not even get prosectuted go scot free if he resigns and the limelight is away from him. The politicians may actually be talking such a deal.. Yeddy steps down, HDK stays silent ( of course, it is in his interest also to keep quiet ) and the report gets buried. That will be sad.

    But the point I am trying to make is this: If there was zero monetary loss in the 2G scam, there was zero monetary loss in the mining scam also. The money was never in the government coffers in the first place. Monetary loss happens in CWG type scams, where something of less or dubious value is bought using government money and government assets are reduced.

  31. Simple Says:

    Gold Star

    There cannot be zero loss in mining scam. Because taxes were evaded. it is illegal to siphon off iron ore without declaring the actual quantity.

    There were no such tax evasion in so called 2g scam. IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO GIVE SPECTRUM ON FIRST COME FIRST BASIS

    it could be a dumb policy to give spectrum on first come first basis. BUT IT IS NOT AN ILLEGAL POLICY. .

    If Raja caused loss to my country, so did Vajpayee govt. cause loss. His govt sold spectrum on first come first serve basis. So why is NDA govt getting away scot free? is this double standards? Why don’t you all put the finger on NDA govt?

  32. Nastika Says:

    BJP came to power & BSY became CM because of HDK’s ‘Vachana Brashta’ act.

    After becoming Yeddy thanked Lingayaths for their support and told them its only because of them he is in power. Thats when the myth of ‘Lingayath is Kingmaker of BJP’ started.


  33. vishvesh Says:

    Lingayat en massee?? O o big statements – a legend of castelessness in India which starts from greats whose names I dont want to take in this forum and continues with Jatti, Nijalingappa and majority of Justices from Karnataka gets such critics from some cheaps like Chetan Bhagat and James Manor?
    How cheap for a forum to publish such things

    What about current Brahmin wives and widows as there are no brahmin men left to own responsibility and step down -Shiela Dixit and Sonia Gandhi and those at her majesty’s secret services- corruption charges are already over them .
    The tune is more than chillare crores of this state and firmly they dont want to step down. can we see a article like brahmin en masse from prithvi chandra dutta shobhi and churumuri?

  34. sravya Says:

    yeddi rocks

  35. peterparker123 Says:

    take brahmans out of this list..don’t drag brahmans names into each and everything..LINGYATS want to grow and attack BRAHMANISM is clearly seen there…good that their scheme has come out openly

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