In the Lokniti-CSDS survey done during the election campaign, a few questions were asked to measure the response of voters to the new reservation policy announced by the BJP government. Only one-third of the respondents had heard about the new policy.
Among those who had heard of the policy, a set of questions was further asked to tap their opinion on the said policy. When it came to separate reservations for Vokkaligas and Lingayats and increased quota for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, more than two-thirds of the respondents either fully supported or somewhat supported the move. In the case of quashing the quota for Muslims, the opinion was more or less equally divided (Table 2).
Among those who took a stand on the reservation policy, those who supported it were more likely to support the BJP while those against were, in all probability, favouring the Congress. It is important to assert that this is, in no way an indicator of the voting pattern. Among those who had heard of the policy of reservations, (one-third of the respondents), close to half supported the BJP. There are other articles in this collection which refer to the class and education divide in voting. The BJP had a higher share of the votes among the more educated and the more affluent. These were the segments that are more likely to have heard about the new reservation policy.
Veena Devi is Professor at the Department of Political Science, Jnana Bharathi Campus, Bangalore University & Nagesh K.L. teaches at Department of Pre-University Education, Karnataka