A miner's paradise, the state was originally known as the State of Mysore and was renamed as Karnataka in 1973. Also known for its black cotton soil, Karnataka is surrounded by states like Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. The state boasts about a rich history and a prosperous heritage. Known as the ‘Silicon Valley' of India, over the years Karnataka has become home to millions of Information Technology (IT) professionals. Home to enchanting scenic beauty, as well as modern engineering marvels, the state is rich in minerals and also accounts to about 6% of India's surface water resources.
Member Representation at the Centre
Consisting of 28 parliamentary constituencies, politicians from Karnataka have served at the Centre in various positions. The state sends 12 members to the Rajya Sabha, along with 28 members to the Lok Sabha. The upcoming Lok Sabha elections are expected to see a fierce battle between five former Chief Ministers. Congress' Veerappa Moily and Dharam Singh, BJP's BS Yeddyurappa and Sadananada Gowda, and JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda are the big names to watch out this election.
The Ruling Party and the Constitution
Though the Governor is the constitutional head of the state the real executive power lies in the hands of the Chief Minister and his Cabinet. The current Governor of Karnataka is HR Bharadwaj. The incumbent Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, representing the Congress party, has ruled the roost since May 2013. The Congress clinched the state elections with a majority of 121 seats.
The state of Karnataka has so far witnessed 14 Assembly Elections. The state has been under the President's rule five times since its formation, but political parties continued to slug it out for the top post. The Congress party has ruled Karnataka while it was still called the State of Mysore, and continued to have a stronghold over the state. The incumbent Congress has governed the state for five terms since 1972. The first Chief Minister of Karnataka was Congress' D Devraj Urs, who served the state from 1972-1977 and 1978-1980. INC's political monopoly was broken by the Janata Party in 1985. However, the Congress fought its way back to power in 1989. Ever since, the battle for Karnataka has been fierce with parties like Janata Dal (Secular) and BJP making inroads.
The upcoming polls will be the state's 16th Lok Sabha elections. The first General Elections were held in 1951. The INC represented the state in the Lok Sabha till 1991. Its great run was broken by the United Front, following which the BJP-led NDA gained prominence in the state. In the last General Elections, the NDA bagged a total number of 19 out of 28 seats in the state.
Prominent Political Leaders
- Indian National Congress (INC) : The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee is a wing of the INC for the state. The party is headed by Dr. G Parameshwara. The likes of IT expert Nandan Nilekani, Union Minister Veerappa Moily, Dharam Singh, KH Muniyappa etc have been fielded by the Congress for the upcoming elections.
- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) : Led by Pralhad Joshi , the BJP will hope to spread the Narendra Modi-wave across the state of Karnataka. The likes of BS Yeddyurappa, controversial politician Sriramulu, Anantha Kumar, Sadananda Gowda etc. will represent the BJP baton in the General Elections.
- Janata Dal (Secular) : Led by former Prime Minister, HD Deve Gowda, the JD (S) was formally formed in 1999 after it split with the Janata Dal.
Opinion Polls 2014
- Siddaramaiah : The 22nd Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah is currently leading the Congress party in the state. He was sworn in as the Chief Minister on 13 May 2013 after the party clinched a landslide victory in the Assembly Elections. A lawyer by profession, he was a part of the Deve Gowda-led JD(S) before he joined hands with the Congress in 2005 after a fallout with Gowda. He represents the Chamundeshwari constituency in Mysore.
- BS Yeddyurappa : Holding the tag of being the first Chief Minister to a south Indian state from the BJP, Yeddyurappa has had a roller-coaster political ride so far. He led the party to a landslide win in the 2008 State Assembly Elections. However, his association with the BJP hit a roadblock in 2010, when he was forced to resign from the BJP on 30 November 2012. Following which he formed the Karnataka Janata Paksha, which merged with the BJP, just months before the 16th Lok Sabha elections.
- HD Deve Gowda : India's 11th Prime Minister and the 14th CM of Karnataka, Deve Gowda is also the President of JD(S). He is an extremely significant leader in the state. Representing the Vokkaliga community, he has always been an avid crusader for the farmers of the state. Deve Gowda started his political stint as a member of the INC for nine years. After years of political struggle, he become the President of the Janata Dal in 1994 and took the party to power. In 1996, the Narasimha Rao-led Congress lost the General Elections, which forced the United Front to form the government. Deve Gowda was nominated as the Prime Minister.
Opinion Polls for the General Elections 2014 predict an outstanding performance by the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In Karnataka, the race between the BJP and the Congress will be very close, with the former likely to clinch at least 15 seats.
- The ECI website
- Karnataka Pradesh Committee website
No. of PCs : 28
No. of Polling Days : 1
Polling Dates : 17 April (Phase 5)
No. of Polling Stations : 24648
No. of Polling Station locations : 18627
Total Electors : 4,46,94,658 (as on 14th February 2014)
Electors in Age Group 18 to 29 years : 25.14%
Women Electors : 48.97%
Poll Expenditure Limit per Candidate : Rs. 70 lakhs
|Major issues and concerns
Right to Education : School seats reserved for children from poor families remain vacant because of discrimination and poor implementation of the Right to Education (RTE). The government has several times failed to achieve the RTE targets before the deadline.
Water crisis : There is an urgent need to check water loss because of leakage in the existing connections. As per reports, about 6.5 lakh house connections have been suffering heavy leakages.
Corruption, Religious polarisation
Karnataka Parliamentary Constituency Winners 2009
|PC No.||PC Name||Category||Winning Candidate||Gender||Party||Total Votes|
|1||Chikkodi||GEN||Katti Ramesh Vishwanath||M||BJP||438081|
|2||Belgaum||GEN||Angadi Suresh Channabasappa||M||BJP||384324|
|4||Bijapur||(SC)||Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi||M||BJP||308939|
|8||Koppal||GEN||Shivaramagouda Shivanagouda ||M||BJP||291693|
|10||Haveri||GEN||Udasi Shivkumar Chanabasappa||M||BJP||430293|
|12||Uttara Kannada||GEN||Anantkumar Hegde||M||BJP||339300|
|15||Udupi Chikmagalur||GEN||V.Sadananda Gowda||M||INC||401441|
|16||Hassan||GEN||H. D. Devegowda||M||JD(Secular)||496429|
|17||Dakshina Kannada||GEN||Nalin Kumar Kateel||M||BJP||499385|
|21||Mysore||GEN||Adagur H Vishwanath||M||INC||354810|
|24||Bangalore North||GEN||D. B. Chandre Gowda||M||BJP||452920|
|25||Bangalore Central||GEN||P. C. Mohan||M||BJP||340162|
|26||Bangalore South||GEN||Ananth Kumar||M||BJP||437953|
||Parliamentary Constituencies in Karnataka
Last Updated on : April 19, 2014
||Parliamentary Constituencies of India