B.S. Yeddyurappa led BJP in Karnataka has won a majority in the state elections as it toppled the Siddaramiah led Congress Government, comfortably. With this, Karnataka keeps in check with its history of voting out incumbent governments.
Out of the 222 of the 224 seats declared, 112 seats were to be won for the majority. BJP won 116 seats (51.8pc), Congress won 64 seats (28.6pc) and JD(Secular) won 39 seats(17.4pc) and 3 by others.
The Karnataka elections, which BJP India President Amit Shah cited as the Gateway to the South, has indeed surprised everyone who thought the right-wing principles might not cut it in the south. With this clear and absolute majority, BJP looks set to form a government in Karnataka with Yeddyurappa as the Chief Minister of the state. Celebrations erupted at the BJP office in Karnataka as they come back to power and win seats they lost in 2013.
As for Congress, their dismal run continues as the grand old party was swept away with a swagger. The Lingayat move looks to have failed as BJP led with over 2/3rd votes in Lingayat dominated areas. The new look Rahul Gandhi led Congress could not handle the Modi-Shah wave. Congress failed to work on the rising agrarian crisis and the Cauvery dispute as they lost votes in constituencies affected by both the problems. BJP also took the lead in the coastal part of Karnataka. B. Sriramulu, a strong SC/ST leader helped BJP gain votes in the backward caste-dominant areas. Karnataka CM Siddaramiah lost his seat in the Chamundeswari constituency to JD(S) candidate G.T. Deve Gowda by over 12,000 seats.
JD(S) led by 85-year old former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, has emerged as a possible Kingmaker in the Karnataka election.
Although, Congress still has the highest vote share(37.8pc) while BJP trails (37.1pc) followed by JD(S) which has around 17.4pc vote share. One thing is clear, Karnataka has clearly rejected the divisive politics played by Congress in the form of the Lingayat card and their stance on the separate state flag issue.
West Bengal CM Mamta Banerjee took to Twitter to congratulate BJP and said that the results would’ve been different had Congress tied up with JD(S).
Amid all this, the EVM issue was raised by, not surprisingly, Congress member Mohan Prakash who told ANI that every party raised the EVM issue, even BJP at some point of time.
This victory comes at the right time for BJP who look to stay in the office post-2019 assembly elections and also for Congress who would want to gain lost ground. They would need much more than ‘moral victories’ and some introspections and retrospections if they are to do so successfully. And if the opposition is to stop the Modi wave and a BJP- mukt Bharat some solid work needs to be done. The Karnataka elections definitely set the tone for the elections to come this year at Rajasthan, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.