Why This Raid Would Help DK Shivakumar?
A one-word answer to this question is – caste. Aware of the importance of caste in Karnataka politics, DK Shivakumar has been projecting himself as the face of the Vokkaliga community. There are three aspects to how this is consolidating the community’s votes spread across three parties.
First, during the political crisis, he had projected himself as the only man who wanted to save a Vokkaliga chief minister’s chair – making him the face of Vokkaliga representation in Congress. He even went to jail as a result of this, a point he has been bringing up often in his speeches.
Second, after taking over as KPCC president, he offered the Congress quota to elect HD Deve Gowda to Rajya Sabha, since he had lost the general election. He has projected himself to the JD(S) vote bank as a man who takes care of the community.
Third, recently DK’s daughter married SM Krishna’s grandson. SM Krishna is the most senior Vokkaliga leader in the BJP.
An example of how his popularity as a Vokkaliga leader is increasing was the massive rally in September 2019, when DK Shivakumar was released from jail after he was arrested in a case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). More than 30,000 Vokkaligas had gathered in the rally.