Karnataka election results would be declared on May 15. BJP and Congress will be in a tussle to win a majority of the seats in the 224 constituencies and will be looking to secure above 113 seats to win by a majority and form the government in the state. BJP has been motivated by the recent election results in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and wants their victory run to continue in Karnataka too. Karnataka presently has INC as the ruling party which won 122 seats out of 224 and formed a majority government in the state when the assembly elections were held last time in 2013. Congress has a strong foothold in maximum constituencies but BJP has also worked a lot on the ground level to establish their voter base in Karnataka. Amit Shah and Narendra Modi have already got the silent mandate of people. Assembly election in Karnataka is not a simple affair — unlike other states, it is very complex to understand and even more difficult to predict who will win at an initial stage.
Almost 1/3 rd of the incumbent MLAs are set to re-elect every time. It’s been a trend since decades. In 140–150 constituencies there is going to be a tough trilateral fight. B. S. Yeddyurappa’s electoral mandate of 2008 was on empathy because of Kumaraswamy’s grave mistake. No doubt, 2013 win of Congress was a gift by BJP’s Yeddyurappa. No party has such state-wide presence as Congress does. It means, neither BJP nor JD(S) can win 113 seats on their own. If there is a remote possibility of getting a majority in Karnataka, it has to be Congress which seems to be unlikely considering the current scenario. But, if BJP forms an alliance with JD(S) then they can come to power. Both Congress and BJP are aware of the fact that, JD(S) is not a soft touch which either of them can comfortably ignore. Having explored the history and the current status of the different political parties, let’s dwell on strategies, strengths, weakness and ground realities of parties; we can see Congress has given a stable government. Some popularity schemes or Bhagyas like Anna Bhagya, Ksheera Bhagya, and Indira Canteens are welcomed by people. Backward classes support Siddaramaiah from the days of AHINDA and he seems to have increased that popularity. H. D. Kumaraswamy and H. D. Deve Gowda’s popularity in old Mysuru region cannot be ignored. Most people believe 20 months of HDK’s ruling is far better than Congress and BJP’s tenure and it is also true to a great extent. JD(S) appears to have found their strengths and weaknesses; they are only concentrating on the region where they can win.
Modi and Amit Shah duo has a strong presence in the coastal region, Mumbai, Karnataka, and Bengaluru; there is a strong support for both BJP and Modi in the urban parts of the state. Yeddyurappa’s popularity in the central and northern parts of Karnataka definitely adds to the party’s win. Looking at all these equations, if Congress manages 65–70 seats, JD(S) manages 40–45 seats and BJP manages 60–65 seats, then whichever party JD(S) chooses, would come to power in Karnataka. BJP appears to have already sensed the fractured verdict in Karnataka — anyone following the state’s politics for the last six months can observe that none from BJP have ever criticised JD(S) during their rallies.
There is also the possibility that the Karnataka election may go UP way. There could be great resemblances between these two elections. During UP election, media reported how Akhilesh Yadav is a man who has no corruption charges against him. But media ignored the point that there were many corruption cases that were detailed to Akhilesh Yadav by Lokayukta but he never acted on those cases. Similarly, media has projected Siddaramaiah as a clean leader but they did not highlight why IAS officers’ like D. K. Ravi committed suicide or murdered? As the mystery is yet to be unsolved, MK Ganapathi, a DSP, spoke to a local news channel that if anything goes wrong with him, the Home Minister K. S. George should be held responsible and soon after sometime, he was found dead. Everyone is silent on Rs 120 crore unexplained income that was found during the raid of Income Tax Dept. from a sitting Congress MLA. And they are not even showing how Lokayukta was stabbed just outside in his office. Just imagine if all these incidents had happened under the BJP govt’s reign. Media was busy in telling in UP that how communal harmony existed between different religions. But they never reported that the Muzaffarnagar riot also happened under the Akhilesh Yadav government’s reign. Media was vocal in UP stating that BJP didn’t grant reservation to the Jats, they are bound to lose all Jat dominated seats and Ajit Singh will be the winner but BJP won maximum seats from this area while Ajit Singh won only one. The same image is in Karnataka but in a different way. Here, Siddaramaiah has granted minority status to the Lingayats and the media is claiming that BJP will lose the support of this community.
Media was projecting Mayawati’s BSP as a game changer in UP and in Karnataka, the JD(S) is called as the kingmaker. The hard reality is that now people are in a mood of giving a clear mandate to one party. There are very rare chances of a hung assembly in a big state like Karnataka in the present political scenario. During UP elections, media published surveys calling it as a triple party fight in the UP and there was no clear winner. In the same way, opinion polls in Karnataka haven’t given a majority to any party. But the ground reality is something different as it was in UP. Interestingly, media is telling that there is no anti-incumbency against Siddaramaiah like there was no anti-incumbency against Akhilesh during the UP elections. But they didn’t tell you the ground reality but the results did. There is a strong possibility that the Karnataka election results may go the UP way. As a trump-card, the numbers of seats and voters have increased after the Modi campaign in Karnataka.
Still, these are just guesses; the reality would be decided by the voters on May 12. Till then I can say — cast your vote to the right candidate and choose the leader who can bring change in your lives.
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