BJP must eat into Congress’s vote share in Karnataka


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13 Apr 2013

 
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BJP must eat into Congress’s vote share in Karnataka The pyramid of Indian elections is such that at the bottom of the pyramid lie the Gram Panchayat, Taluq Pnchayat and Zilla Parishad elections. A tier above the base are the Urban Local Body polls. On top of the ULB polls are the Assembly elections and the topmost layer is represented by the LS polls.

In a classical political approach, a party is supposed to grow from the bottom of the pyramid to reach to the pinnacle. The Congress is usually credited with this ‘grass-roots’ approach to political success. But the reality of Indian politics is not always so simplistically linear. JDS, for instance, always shows a far greater performance at the grass-roots level, but underperforms as the party moves upwards (with the worst performance at the top, in LS polls). There are many political parties in India with ‘solid’ grass-roots performance but nothing much to show at Assembly or Parliamentary level – the various hues of Raitha Sanghas (peasants parties) are a good example from the past in the State.

BJP in Karnataka has usually been a party of the top-down approach; the party’s best performance has always come from LS polls, followed by Assembly elections. It is this small fact that gives the party a glimmer of hope, especially for the Parliamentary elections that may soon follow the Karnataka Assembly elections.

Old-Mysore region: Will decide if Congress gets a workable majority or not

In these 37 Assembly segments belonging to the Vokkaliga heartland, the fight has always been between Congress and JDS. Even in 2008 and 2009, when BJP performed at its optimum, the party hardly mattered in this region. The situation was so dire for the BJP in this region that for all the 5 years of its Government, the party struggled to even appoint district-incharge Ministers due to lack of legislators from the area.

Whatever little growth the BJP has achieved over the last 5 years, has been essentially through inorganic means. In the upcoming elections, the party can play a smart spoiler in select Assembly seats. BJP’s ability to play a spoiler in this region can be crucial in the final analysis.

Urban Local Body poll 2013 March

BJP Congress JDS KJP Others
Mysore 19 90 69 6 20
Chamrajnagar 11 56 3 19 20
Mandya 9 57 61 0 34
Hassan 3 55 90 10 22
Ramnagaram 2 65 40 0 5

Assembly Election 2008

BJP Congress JDS KJP Others
Mysore 2 8 1 0
Chamrajnagar 0 4 0 0
Mandya 0 2 4 1
Hassan 0 2 5 0
Ramnagaram 0 2 2 0

LS Poll 2009 (Assembly segment leads)

BJP Congress JDS KJP Others
Mysore 3 7 1 0
Chamrajnagar 3 1 0 0
Mandya 0 4 3 0
Hassan 0 0 7 0
Ramnagaram 0 0 4 0

Data Source: Election Commission of India & Karnataka State Election Commission

This region is crucial for Congress as well as JDS and both are fighting a tough battle as shown by the ULB results. If Congress pickings are less than 15 (out of 33) Assembly segments in this region, then it will be that much more difficult for the party to reach the halfway mark. Ideally, Congress should get about 20+ seats in this region to have any serious claim at forming the next Government on its own.

BJP has its role cut out here. The party has to position itself tactically to eat into Congress’s vote-share and help JDS win as many seats as possible. A hung Assembly is a far better result for the BJP than an outright victory of Congress. Hearteningly for the BJP, even as Congress has delayed its list, JDS has started campaigning vigorously and is showing all signs of putting up its best performance.

Caste-vote matrix and electoral issues

This is the Vokkaliga heartland ruled by the Gowdas. Vokkaligas and Kurubas dominate the caste landscape here, followed by Veerashaivas as the third pole. Scheduled castes, both in the left as well as right, are also present in significant numbers here (about 18 per cent). Muslims are also present in various pockets in fairly large numbers.

Before the arrival of BJP on the scene in a big way in this millennium, Congress’s core vote-bank consisted of Veerashaivas, Muslims, a lion’s share of scheduled caste vote and a portion of Vokkaligas. JDS core vote bank was Vokkaligas and Kurubas. All of this changed in the last decade — first Siddharamaiah’s exit from JDS meant an exodus of Kurubas to Congress, then BJP came into the scene to capture the Veerashaiva vote. Finally, the exit of BSY from BJP could add more complexity to the whole caste matrix of the region.

Today, JDS’s core vote is concentrated in the Vokkaligas, which may fetch them about a dozen seats, but in order to improve their seat tally, the party is wooing the minorities and other smaller castes. Congress’s core vote consists of Kurubas, minorities and a big chunk of SCs, which will help them win about 15 odd seats under the normal circumstances. For the party to improve its seat tally, it should get a bigger chunk of Vokkaliga and Veearashaiva vote.

There is hush-hush talk in the State about the leader of the opposition Siddharamaiah having secret talks with BSY’s KJP to tactically nullify the Lingayat (Veearashaiva) vote and maximise Congress’s gains in the Old Mysore region. On the other hand, former Prime Minister, Deve Gowda, is making an emotional appeal to the people of the region about this being his last election campaign.

Cauvery water dispute issue also holds sway in this region over the masses and JDS can gain by highlighting this aspect to the hilt, as voters tend to believe the regional parties to be more truthful about Cauvery than the compromising nature of national political parties. Since BJP is not a significant player here, minorities are willing to experiment with both Congress and JDS.

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  • Sriram R

    Fat chance of this happening!
    Have been watching BJP perform or do anything other than that in Karnataka. It is a house full of parasites – none of the RSS code of conduct for conducting oneself – as a human being, a good Hindu and a party that rules the state.
    One can pick up a few points on how not to govern

  • Pingback: BJP releases 3rd list for May 5 Karnataka Assembly poll | Niti Central

  • sidharan

    The BJP must give a big push without worrying about the yeddiyurappa factor. As happened in Gujarat where Keshubhai patel failed to divide the votes against the BJP, in karnataka also the same may happen. Go to every home ,explain the BJPs position,about the hardhships the government faced because of yeddyurappa and that in future the government under shettar will be a stable one. also tell the people that when all India is ready to throw the congress into the dustbin, karnataka cannot enthrown the party, also congress has looted the country of nearly 100 lac crores – in adarsh, CWG, 2G, coal, Irrigation, Food for oil, helicopter, scorpene, NREGS loots. same will happen to karnataka also. Also congress is anti-Hindu and will harass the hindu ashrams , mutts ,sadhus, sadhvis etc as they did ramdev, asaram bapu,Morari Bapu, sadhvi Pragya, Bangaru adigal, Shhankaracharya, jaggi vasudev, Sri sri etc. request all these saints to advise their devotees to vote for the BJP which is the only party which supports the Hindu sadhus ,saints and mutts. In the Gujarat elections last minute vote surge is said to have helped Modi and BJP. Similarly try for a wave in favor of BJP now.

  • sridharan

    The bJP karyakartas should not lose heart thinking about the socalled yeddyuraoppa factor. The Keshubhai patel factor failed in Gujarat. Similarly theyedyyurapp a factro will fail in karnataka. You must highlight the fact that but for yeddyurappa the BJPs rule was good. and that it will be better if given another chance.You must tell the people that past is behind.and that the congress which has looted the country for 9 long years is about to be thrown out in 2014. and the BJp will come to power in delhi in 2014. so it will be better that karnataka has a BJp government which will be useful for its progress. last minute surge helped the BJP in Gujarat.like that try to create a wave in favor of BJP. educate the people about the loot of congress in Adarsh, CWG,Coal,2G, Irrigation, Helicopter, Scorpene, NREGS,Food for OIL, Robert vadra scams and that so far nearly 100 lac crores have been looted by the congress. Karnataka’s resources will be looted by congress. Benagaluru will becoem the rape capital of karnataka like Delh. alos the Mutts, sadhus saints, sdhvis will be harassed by the anti-Hindu congress like it did ramdevji, Shankaracharya, asaram bapu, jaggi vasudev, Sri Sri, bangaru adigal, sadhvi Pragya etc. request the people to give the BJP one more chance.

  • http://www.niticentral.com Hari Om

    The BJP needs to put in all honest efforts to retain control over the state power in crucial Karnataka. The nation just cannot afford victory of the Congress or the Janata Dal — Secular in this state. The victory of the BJP in this state is a national requirement. The BJP has to eat into Congress’s vote share in Karnataka as very rightly suggested by Praveen Patil. It is heartening to note that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has agreed to campaign in five districts in Karnataka and it is hoped that the politically conscious people of this state would realise the gravity of the situation and inflict a crushing defeat on the Corrupt and undesirable Congress party. .

  • sridharan

    Karnataka just cannot become another

    Haryana – daily rapes, Robert Vadra’s land grab. honest officers punished,

    Delhi- daily rapes,killings, murders, frauds,agitations

    Andhra – no administration, continuous agitations, civil war like situation, telengana problem

    Maharashtra- irrigation scam, farmers suicide, droght and the negligence of agriculture,crimes.
    The people of Karnatak have to choose the BJP . otehrwise Sonia led mafia gang willl spoil Karnataka like other states.





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