In the recently concluded Karnataka Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost all 15 seats reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates and 24 out of 36 seats reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates. Despite the outgoing Chief Minister's decision to increase reservation for the SC/ST community, the BJP failed to make any significant impact in these reserved seats.
In contrast, the Congress, which won a whopping 135 seats in the 224-member assembly, registered a massive win in the seats reserved for SC/ST candidates. The Congress emerged victorious in 14 out of 15 ST-reserved seats and 21 out of 36 SC-reserved seats. In the 2018 assembly elections, the BJP had won 22 out of the 51 reserved seats. However, this time, the party’s seat share came down to 66 from 104 in 2018, leading to its defeat.
According to Times Of India, the BJP government in Karnataka had increased the reservation quota for SCs from 15% to 17% and for STs from 3% to 7%, three months prior to the election, in hopes of gaining more seats than the 16 SC and 6 ST seats it had won in 2018.
However, in the recent election, the BJP won only 12 SC seats and none of the 15 ST seats, while the Congress party won 21 SC seats and 14 ST seats, up from their 2018 tally. The JD(S) won four reserved seats. The president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee’s social justice wing, C S Dwarakanath, attributed the failure of the government’s move to the fact that people saw through BJP’s dishonesty. He added that there was no scientific data to support the decision to increase the reservation quota for SCs and STs.
(With PTI Inputs)