http://www.dnaindia.com/opinion/edi...esh-still-caught-up-in-caste-politics_1472155 Bihar has proved that it is ahead of many parts of the country when the people of the state jettisoned the caste calculus of political parties and voted for the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government for its performance based on a developmental agenda. Two of the prominent southern states, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, have shown that they are still caught in the quagmire of caste politics. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) decided not to remove chief minister BS Yeddyurappa mainly because he belonged to the dominant Lingayat community. In neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Congress has chosen Kiran Kumar Reddy to be chief minister chiefly because he belongs to the dominant Reddy community; which was the only way to counter the political rebellion of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, son of late YS Rajasekhara Reddy. Political scientists may have to think about why and how the economically modern Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are still stuck in caste considerations while the economically backward Bihar has broken the stranglehold of old political thinking in a meaningful manner. Reddy has got impressive credentials in terms of political apprenticeship and educational background but they would not have got him the top job if he was not a Reddy. That is the hard reality. The crisis in Karnataka has not been resolved but it has been put off for now. Yeddyurappa has been charged with favouring his sons in allocation of land in Bangalore. What saved Yeddyurappa is not his defense, but that he belongs to the dominant Lingayat community and the BJP had to weigh in the caste factor. Had Yeddyurappa not been a Lingayat, he would have been replaced promptly. Congress president Sonia Gandhi was justified in crowing about the fact that her party had unhesitatingly dropped Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan after the Adarsh Housing Society scam. But the Congress acted for pragmatic rather than moral reasons. What clearly stands out in the Karnataka and Andhra cases is the woeful role that caste plays in two of the economically advanced states in southern India.