BJP counts on Maya, inflation
The BJP has many reasons to start early celebrations in Karnataka. Exit polls have shown the party emerging as leader in the first phase of polls.Updated: May 12, 2008, 00:53 IST
The BJP has many reasons to start early celebrations in Karnataka. Exit polls have shown the party emerging as leader in the first phase of polls. Moreover, the party’s own assessment indicates it will benefit from the Mayawati-led BSP’s foray into the state as well as the price rise and urban disenchantment with Deve Gowda’s JD(S).
A survey done by the BJP has shown that it could even manage 119 to 129 seats if the Mayawati factor deprives the Congress of its traditional Dalit vote bank. The Congress could win 60-64 seats and Deve Gowda’s JD(S) could suffer a setback with just 20 seats.
Going by crowd response to Mayawati in Karnataka, the BJP expects the BSP to dent the Congress’s influence among Dalits. Mayawati has put up nominees for 218 of the 224 Legislative Assembly seats.
The first phase of the elections were held in southern Karnataka where the BJP has traditionally been weak. The south is Vokkalinga territory, so the BJP gave 70 per cent of the tickets to Vokkalingas. “Our feedback is we could touch 40,” party leader Amitabh Sinha said. The delimitation exercise seems to have helped the BJP as well, because urban seats have increased.
BJP strategists also believe their chief ministerial candidate BS Yedurrappa’s appeal extends to urban voters as well, though he is known as a farmer leader.
The Congress, on the other hand, does not have a chief ministerial candidate. "Why is the Congress shying away from announcing its leader?" asked senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu. He emphasised that the BJP’s main poll planks are clearly laid out — development, government stability, ability of the leader and, importantly, tackling price rise.