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Telugu Voters in Karnataka May Hamper BJP's Prospects After Andhra Special Status Fallout

The BJP is pushing to make inroads into the South with Karnataka. However, the fall-out of "Special Status" row in Andhra Pradesh, may have an impact on the party’s prospects.

Sakshi Khanna | CNN-News18

Updated:March 28, 2018, 12:16 PM IST
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Telugu Voters in Karnataka May Hamper BJP's Prospects After Andhra Special Status Fallout
File photo of Karnataka BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa.
Bengaluru: The poll-battle has shifted South with the Election Commission announcing Karnataka Assembly elections on May 12.

The BJP is pushing to make inroads into the South with Karnataka. However, the fall-out of "Special Status" row in Andhra Pradesh, may have an impact on the party’s prospects.

Telugu people are the third largest ethnic group in Karnataka and play a decisive role in determining the election outcome in regions bordering the two states. The Telugu voters have a sizable population in about 20 Assembly constituencies. In Bengaluru itself, one-third of the population is Telugu.

With growing resentment against the BJP-ruled Centre, over the denial of Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh, the Telugu voter in Karnataka are expected to vote against the BJP, thus playing in favour of the Congress.

There are various campaigns being run on social media against the Centre for not according Andhra’s demand and the community is well aware of the “injustice” meted out to the state.

Madhusudhan, vice president of Telugu Association Bangalore told News18, "The people here also feel betrayed. We are protesting and running campaigns on social media to push for justice. The various Telugu associations in Karnataka are openly discussing the idea of not voting for the BJP."

Speaking to News18, Rakesh, a member of the Bangalore TDP forum said, "All Telugu people, settled in any part of the country or world, are feeling the same anger and disappointment. What the BJP-led Centre has done, is complete injustice. During Karnataka elections, we will show our impact and teach the party a lesson."

Meanwhile, the BJP has roped in leaders from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to campaign in areas with heavy Telugu populations.

Krishna Sagar Rao, Telangana BJP spokesperson said, "The people, while voting, consider local issues that concern them. Hence, we don’t see much impact. Leaders from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have been assigned campaigns to outline the promises which have been fulfilled and the various efforts of the BJP-led Centre for the Telugu people in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and all over the country."

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| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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