Karnataka Elections: Congress Strikes Caste Balance, Names 52 OBCs, 42 Lingayats in 1st List of Candidates
Congress | File image | (Photo Credit: PTI)

Bengaluru, April 16: An analysis of the Congress' first list of candidates for the upcoming Karnataka assembly polls brings to the fore the caste arithmetic mulled over by the party. The OBCs, who form the single largest electorate entity on the basis of caste, found the maximum share followed by the Lingayats and the Vokkaligas - the two most influential upper-caste communities.

Out of the 218 candidates named by the Congress, 52 belong to the other backward classes. The OBCs share in the state's 6.5 crore population is roughly 23 per cent.

42 candidates belong to the Lingayat community and 39 to the Vokkaligas - the two communities which form 14 per cent and 11 per cent of the population respectively.

36 candidates entering the poll fray under Congress' banner are Dalits, the community which forms 19.5 percent of the state's population.

Meanwhile, the party has nominated 15 Muslim candidates, despite 16 per cent of the state's population being followers of Islam.

Among other religions, two Congress candidates each are followers of Christianity and Jainism.

Brahmins, who form 3 percent of the population, find 3 candidates in the first list of Congress.

In terms of age, 138 candidates aged between 51 and 70, 49 candidates between 41-50 and 24 nominees between 25-41. Only seven candidates are aged above 70.

The party has also been charged of preferring outsiders over regular cadres. At least seven candidates are JD(S) turncoats - Zamir Ahmed Khan, Chelluvar Ayyasamy, Iqbal Ansari, Akhanda Srinivas Moorthi, HC Balakrishna, Bheema Nayak and Ramesh Bendi Siddhagowda - have been granted tickets by the Congress.

The party has also denied the renomination bid of 14 legislators, which prompted protests by the Congress cadres in some parts of the state.