Karnataka by-polls: BJP may sail thru, but likely to alter grass-root dynamics

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on December 09, 2019

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka is confident of winning over nine seats in the by-elections to 15 Assembly constituencies and get a simple majority in the House.

The Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa-led government needs to win at least six to seven seats to retain power in the State. By-election results are to be declared on December 9.

“The BJP hopes to win between 9 and 12 seats and we are confident of achieving it to give us stability to run the government smoothly,” said a senior party functionary.

Run up to the polls, the ruling BJP campaigned offering ‘stable government’ in the State and also fielded and campaigned for disqualified MLAs (who defected from Congress and JDS), while the Opposition campaigned hard to defeat the defectors and also highlighted poor handling of flood relief especially in the Mumbai-Karnataka districts.

The by-elections saw efforts to consolidate Vokkaliga votes in old Mysore region and re-grouping of Lingayats in the Mumbai-Karnataka districts.

Regional television channels, which aired exit poll results soon after the by-elections ended, showed that BJP is said to have performed better and is expected to win anywhere between 8 and 12 seats, Congress is expected to win 3-6 seats and JD (S) in 2-4 seats. But, on the whole, higher turnout of 78 per cent and as low of 48 per cent has led to a lot of speculation in the political circles.

The by-elections is expected to disturb the political dynamics in the districts of Belagavi, Ballari and Bengaluru City. The BJP has been badly been hit in these areas by disgruntlement among local leaders and workers against candidates accommodated from Congress and JD(S) with whom they have been opposing. According to a senior BJP leader, the fortunes of few current leaders are set to swing as there has been assertion by the dominant Vokkaliga community, backward classes.

In addition to this, the party has now made it clear that only those misqualified MLAs who win the by-elections will be given ministerial portfolios. This is said to anger party workers at grass-root level.

Published on December 06, 2019

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