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.