BJP loss, but not Congress gain
BJP’s defeat in Karnataka Assembly polls is not unexpected. Many had feared it even before the election process began in the State. Major portion of it is being attributed to serious infighting within the BJP, which led to the ouster of people like former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. His party Karnataka Janatha Paksha (KJP) might have won only six seats, but it caused the defeat of a large number of BJP candidates. At the same time the victory of Congress candidates does not mean that people suddenly developed any love for the corruption ridden party. It only benefited from the BJP infighting. Therefore, it is not the victory of the Congress at all.
The poll outcome shows that in majority of the constituencies the total number of votes garnered by BJP and KJP candidates is far higher than the Congress. The poll analysts feel that it teaches a lesson to the BJP that set your house in order immediately and any division will make you lose everywhere. They feel that the BJP lost in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh also for the same reason. The analysts feel that it is a warning for BJP and maybe blessing in disguise to make a winnable strategy for further elections. It must try to bring under its fold all such mass leaders who have been either left the party or expelled. This process has been started in UP, same should be done in other states.
A look at the results of following 23 seats shows that Congress won and BJP lost due to KJP. Combined votes of BJP and KJP are much higher in most seats than those of the Congress. These constituencies are Afjalpur (Congress-38093, BJP-10347, KJP-32855), Bhalki (Congress -58012, BJP-29694, KJP-48343), Byadgi (Congress -57707, BJP-37877, KJP-44348), Channagiri (Congress -53355, BJP-4526, KJP-51582), Devar Hippargi (Congress -36231, BJP-28135, KJP-24707), Gulbarga Rural (Congress -40075, BJP-32857, KJP-26612.), Gurmitkal (Congress -36051, BJP-9795, KJP-32362), Hangal (Congress -66324, BJP-7052, KJP-60638), Harpanahalli (Congress -56954, BJP-48548, KJP-27997), Hubli (Dharwad(E) [Congress -42353, BJP-28831, KJP-26312], Kollagal (Congress -47402, BJP-17224, KJP-32929), Krishnaraja (Congress -52611, BJP-46546, KJP-15573), Kumata (Congress -36756, BJP-28411, KJP-14286), Kundgol (Congress -52690, BJP-23641, KJP-31618), Mayakonda (Congress -32435, BJP-17658, KJP-31741), Ramdurg (Congress -42310, BJP-37326, KJP-16043), Shimoga (Congress -39355,BJP-33462, KJP-39077), Shirahatti (Congress -44738, BJP-44423, KJP-3841), Tarikhere (Congress -35817, BJP-2989, KJP-34918), Terdal (Congress -70189, BJP-67590, KJP-5558), Tiptur (Congress -56817, BJP-45215, KJP-28667), Tirthahalli (Congress -37160, BJP-34446, KJP-35817), Tumkur City (Congress -43681, BJP-13159, KJP-40073).
It is only an example. The same is the condition at remaining seats. There is one more picture. If we add the votes of JD(S) in it, the picture is clear that all these three parties got more votes than the Congress. Therefore, it is clear that the Congress got power by accident and not due any popularity among the voters.
This is a fact that the Lingayats this time shifted their loyalties in various regions including Tumkur, Shimoga and a large part of northern Karnataka. In 2004, the BJP had won 79 seats, and became the largest single party, followed by Congress 65 and Janata Dal (Secular) 58 seats. In, 2008, it won 110 seats and formed a government with the support of independents.
Outgoing chief minister Jagadish Shettar said the Congress won only because of the negative campaign against BJP. Karnataka BJP chief Prahlad Joshi said within two weeks the party would call for a meeting of all party workers to introspect. We will consult with our national leaders and find a way to work our way through, he said.
The Janata Dal (S) has not only retained its base intact but also ate the ruling BJP votes. By garnering an estimated ten per cent votes the KJP catapulted the Congress to power in Karnataka. A preliminary analysis suggested that the Congress gained some two percentage votes compared to the 2008 figure of 34.59 taking its tally from 80 then to 121 now. In the previous elections, the BJP’s vote percentage was nearly one per cent less than the Congress but still managed to get 110 seats. BJP’s vote-share is estimated to have slumped to around 20 per cent this time, almost same as the JDS, which had 19.3 per cent votes last time around, with both getting 40 seats each.The overall outcome of these polls is that the people have rejected the infighting of BJP and not the party. It is definitely a time for the party to introspect. The poll outcome also shows that the people have not given any mandate to the Congress.