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Amit Shah and Yeddyurappa have to come up with a new plan for Karnataka

With the aggregation of votes, the Congress-JD(S) coalition can hope to sweep not just the old Mysuru area where they are traditional combatants but also get more seats in Mumbai Karnataka, Central Karnataka, and Bengaluru in 2019 general elections

editorials Updated: Jun 04, 2018 11:26 IST
Hindustan Times
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, JD(S) leader and Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, New Delhi (File Photo)(Sanchit Khanna/HT)

In the 2013 assembly election, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 40 of 224 assembly seats in Karnataka. A year later, it swept 17 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state, thanks to the reunification of factions, which included BS Yeddyurappa’s Karnataka Janata Party and the Reddy brothers’ acolyte B Sriramulu’s Badavara Shramikara Raitara Congress. The Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) won nine and two seats respectively in 2014. In the recent assembly elections, the BJP won 104 of the 223 seats. It expected to do well in 2019, repeat, perhaps even better its 2014 performance, but the coming together of the Congress and the JD(S) has changed a lot of things.

Apart from forming a government, the two partners have announced their decision to form a pre-poll alliance in 2019. This isn’t good news for the BJP. In the assembly polls, the Congress got a little over 38% of the vote but won 79 seats, the BJP won 36% of the votes and won 104 seats while the JD(S) won 17.5% of the votes for 38 seats. The BJP’s seat share to voter share ratio was high because of the division in the non-BJP votes. With the aggregation of those votes, the coalition partners can hope to sweep not just the old Mysuru area where they are traditional combatants but also get more seats in the state’s Mumbai Karnataka and Central Karnataka regions, and Bengaluru. Assuming that there will be a smooth seat allocation and transfer of votes between the coalition partners, the Congress-JD(S) combine can win 21 of the 28 seats in the state. The BJP can hope to get only six seats where its vote share is higher than the combined vote share of the coalition partners, primarily in Coastal and Hyderabad Karnataka. One seat in Hyderabad Karnataka would be too close to call with both sides almost evenly matched.

The BJP which is facing a united opposition in several northern states, was hoping for an easier fight in Karnataka. If the coalition endures, that looks difficult. BJP president Amit Shah and former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa will now have to come up with a new plan for Karnataka.

First Published: Jun 04, 2018 11:24 IST