Karnataka, the eighth largest state in India, situated on the table land on the Deccan plateau. It is blessed with the bounty of nature and is rich in its mineral wealth[i].
Talking about legislative assembly elections, it is the first of the four states which will go to elections in 2018. BJP and Congress will fight against each other to win majority seats in 224 constituencies. To win by a majority and form a government both the parties will look to secure above 113 seats. The elections will take place on 12 may 2018 excluding one constituency due to the death of B.N. Vijay Kumar, Jayanagar BJP candidate. Results will be announced on 15 may 2018, the assembly’s tenure will end on 28 may 2018[ii].
BJP wants its victory in Karnataka as the party has tasted the same in other states in recent elections, such as Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Karnataka at present has Indian National Congress as a ruling party which secured 122 seats out of 224, forming a majority government[iii].
Three major parties are in tussle this time in Karnataka – BJP, Indian National Congress and Janata Dal (Secular).
Barely any party will win with full majority this time, there are more chances of forming a coalition government.
- A pre-poll survey conducted by ABP news poll, specifies that the Congress is moving ahead and growing the gap with its rival, the BJP[iv].
- A pre-poll survey conducted by Suvarna News specifies that neither the Congress nor the BJP will get a clear majority[v].
- Another survey agency which BJP has enrolled – Creative Center for Political and Social Studies (COPS) says that the party will secure 113 seats. The same number of seats were secured in 2008 under the chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa[vi].
- Karnataka is the only state in the South in which BJP ruled from 2008-13, the party was led by BS Yeddyurappa, DV Sadananda Gowda and Jagdish shettar. And during this tenure three chief ministers and five ministers were sent to jail on corruption charges.
- The divide between urban and rural will affect the elections more as congress has 154 rural assembly constituencies and BJP just has its base in few urban areas that is 70[vii].
- The time when BJP was in power, it was filled with corruption and scandals. Also, there was internal party rift due to which Yeddyurappa resigned from BJP and rejoined it later.
- Congress in Karnataka under Siddaramiah has been corruption less and has a strong hold in rural areas as it has taken all efforts to provide nutritious food, education, etc.[viii]
- And also, there was a survey conducted internally which has revealed that JD(S) can get approximately 20-25% votes this time and could form a coalition government.
BJP has been trying a lot on ground level to hold their voter base in Karnataka again. If Modi Ji and Amit Shah will work hard a little more on campaigning then the results might turn in their victory. But Congress has already established its footholds in Karnataka mostly in rural areas. However, the recent survey also says that JDS can also take chance this time and can win elections by splitting the votes of both the parties. Karnataka people have already seen bad governance from BJP during 2008-2013 so, it’s obvious that they won’t trouble themselves again.
[iii] https://www.hindustantimes.com › india news
[vii] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com › … › Karnataka polls: Congress must breach BJP
[viii] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com › … › Karnataka polls: Congress must breach BJP