ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Karnataka Pre-Election Scenario

Ambrose Pinto A CONGRESS state till 1989 as far as Lok Sabha was concerned, where the party had swept practically all the seats, the 1991 and 1996 elections in Karnataka were a departure. In 1991 the party won 22 seats out of the 26 it contested, the lowest ever since the first general elections. In 1996 the party's presence was still feeble when it won only five seats. The political scenario has considerably changed ever since. The state gave to the country a ruralite prime minister from the agricultural community of vokkaligas, the prominent Janata Dal (JD) leader, Harnahalli Dodda Gowda Deve Gowda, His clout in Delhi further added to the consolidation of JD in the state. Though prime minister of India, the saying that did the round was PM of Karnataka and CM of India. Knowing fully well that his tenure in the capital may not last long, the man kept a complete hold on the party and its leaders in the state. His arch rival Ramakrishna Hegde who wielded influence on the upper middle classes and the upper castes was expelled from JD as soon as Deve Gowda reached the Delhi darbar. Prepared to stand up to his tormentor, Ramakrishna Hegde, the ex-chief minister of Karnataka who had built up the JD party in the state, founded Lok Sakti recently, a political party of his own with his followers and admirers.

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