Manufacturing electoral choice

May 16, 2018
Constitution & Governance

Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Managing Trustee at CLPR, writes LiveMint on the Karnataka Elections 2018. He analyzes two elements of the campaign strategy. Firstly, he argues that Congress’s choice of Kannada linguistic nationalism as a campaign frame did not fare well against the cultural and religious national sentiment. Secondly the double-layered campaign structure of the BJP helped them secure the highest seats – leaders from centre and state and the grassroots political workers carried out a well designed campaign strategy.


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has emerged as the single largest party in the three-cornered election in Karnataka, though the Janata Dal (Secular) may well form the government. By bringing back B.S . Yeddyurappa and the Reddy brothers into the fold, the BJP has consolidated the vote share that had split in 2013. Despite only a marginal increase in BJP vote share, the improved performance of the JD(S) and a primed party machine that converts minority vote shares into majority seat shares has delivered it status of the single largest party.