Karnataka became an independent state only in the year 1956. However, in 1956 it was known as the Mysore state; it was renamed as Karnataka only in 1973. During the British rule, most of the present day Karnataka were under many different administrations like the Bombay Presidency, Madras Presidency, the Nizam of Hyderabad, the rule of the Mysore kings, etc.
A unification campaign on linguistic basis was carried out by many prominent political leaders of the state; Aluru Venkata Rao being one of the predominant leaders. This very long political movement, known as Ekikarana Movement, eventually found its success with the redrawing of the geography of the state of Mysore under the States Reorganization Act in 1956, when Kodagu and Kannada speaking regions from the erstwhile states of Madras, Hyderabad and Bombay were inducted into the Mysore state. The expanded Mysore state was renamed as Karnataka in 1973.
There are many political parties, which dominate the politics of Karnataka today. The major political parties of the state are the Indian National Congress, Janata Dal(Secular), Janata Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party. Of course, like the other south Indian states, Karnataka politics also has many regional parties and they play a dominant role in state politics, helping to form and break governments, specially in the recent context with coalition politics ruling the roost.
The state legislative assembly or Vidhan Sabha comprises of 224 members, who are elected for a five-year term. The legislative council or Vidhan Parishad is a permanent body like all other Vidhan Parishads of India. This house comprises of 75 members, with one third of its members retiring every year. The state government is headed by the Chief Minister. Karnataka comprises of 29 districts, and each district is governed by the District Commissioner or District Magistrate.
Until very recently, HD Kumaraswamy was the Chief Minister of Karnataka. He belongs to Janata Dal (Secular) party, and was the son of the former Prime Minister, Deve Gowda. They were able to capture power with the help of the BJP with whom they had an understanding that both the parties will take turns to rule the state. But after the tenure of Kumaraswamy, he refused to step down, and this caused the government to fall as BJP withdrew support.
Karnataka politics is based mainly on the Kaveri issue. This has caused a lot of tension between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The politics of Karnataka is always dynamic and here castes play a significant role. The two major castes who play important roles in the Karnataka politics are the Lingayats and the Vokkaligas.
Last Updated On: 2011/07/11