Although associated with Siddaramaiah, the history of the AHINDA strategy goes back decades. 
Although associated with Siddaramaiah, the history of the AHINDA strategy goes back decades. (Photo: Rahul Gupta/The Quint)
  • 1. The Split In Congress and Rise of Devaraj Urs – The...
  • 2. AHINDA Emerges From the Ashes of Emergency
  • 3. Fizzling Out of the Ideology
  • 4. AHINDA Returns
  • 5. Battle Tested in 2013 Elections
  • 6. The Real Test Still Ahead
Siddaramaiah’s AHINDA Strategy Will Face Its Real Test in 2018

Any discussion on current Karnataka politics sans the words ‘AHINDA strategy’ is a rarity. This was the political strategy that helped the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government to come to power in the 2013 Assembly elections. And even for the 2018 elections, AHINDA remains Siddaramaiah’s primary strategy.

AHINDA stands for Alpasankhyataru (Minorities), Hindulidavaru (Backward Classes) and Dalitaru (Dalits).

In Karnataka, the Lingayats and the Vokkaligas community constitute a large chunk of the state’s vote bank. AHINDA was an attempt to consolidate the votes of the other communities to create a third large vote bank against these two.

In recent political dialogues, the AHINDA strategy has become associated with the Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who used it effectively in 2013. However, the story of AHINDA dates back to the 70s, and the Emergency declared by Indira Gandhi’s government played a huge part in its development.

Siddaramaiah merely resurrected a strategy that was successfully used by a faction of the Congress back then.

  • 1. The Split In Congress and Rise of Devaraj Urs – The Inventor of AHINDA

    Although associated with Siddaramaiah, the history of the AHINDA strategy goes back decades. 
    Devaraj Urs 
    (Photo Courtesy: Youtube screengrab)

    The story of AHINDA starts with the expulsion of Indira Gandhi from the Indian National Congress (INC) in 1969.

    The party split into Congress (I) and Congress (O). The Congress (I) had the supporters of Indira Gandhi and Congress (O) had the leaders who remained with the original organisation.

    Even in Karnataka, the Congress party split into two. The Congress (O) had party stalwarts like S Nijalingappa, Veerendra Patil, Ramakrishna Hegde, Deve Gowda and Kamaraj, who dominated Karnataka’s vote bank.

    The Indira faction was led by Devaraj Urs. Even though the Congress (O) asked Urs to join hands with them, he led the party in the state through the 1972 Assembly election under Indira Gandhi’s party flag.

    Riding on the popularity of Indira Gandhi, especially after the victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, he won the 1972 Assembly elections in Karnataka.

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