Karnataka: Religion to play a role during campaigning, feel voters


NEW DELHI : CVoter conducted an exclusive survey-cum-opinion poll in Karnataka ahead of the May 10 Assembly elections. As per the poll, potential voters feel that religious polarisation could be a significant factor that could significantly affect the Assembly elections in the southern state.

The CVoter poll projects the Congress to win between 115 and 127 seats in the 244-member Karnataka Assembly and form a majority government in the state. Aware of this, BJP strategists could try to use the religion and minority card to stage a comeback as campaigning heats up for the elections.

As per the CVoter survey-cum-poll, 34 per cent of the respondents feel that religious polarisation could significantly affect the elections.

Another 30 per cent feel that the hijab controversy (along with minority status for the Lingayat community) could play a big role.

The survey was conducted in late March, just before the elections were announced, and interacted with around 25,000 respondents across demographics, age groups and identities. The elections are scheduled for May 10 and the results will be declared on May 13, as per the Election Commision.

Surprisingly, when CVoter asked potential voters to identify the most important issues that worry them in Karnataka, religious polarisation and hijab were barely mentioned. Unemployment, infrastructure and corruption were identified as the major issues. Yet, the same set of respondents also feel that there is a high possibility of religion being used extensively during the campaign.

Sometime before the Karnataka elections were announced, the BJP gvernment had removed the 4 per cent quota for Muslims. The hijab issue has been festering for more than one year and the Supreme Court is yet to deliver a final verdict on the matter.

Besides, the Tipu Sultan controversy has been raked up many times even before the elections were announced. — IANS


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