2018 Assembly Elections in Karnataka was totally different to that of 2013, both for BJP and Karnataka. In the Karnataka Assembly elections, BJP has got 5 superpowers that has all potentials to turn the game in favour of BJP, even in the constituencies where BJP is trailing.
To know how we need to go back to 2013. During this election, Congress had garnered 36.6 percent vote shares but BJP had succeeded in getting only 19.9 percent votes. But you’ll be surprised to know that– when you see in 2018– the votes garnered by BJP leaders in 2013 was almost equal to that of Congress party. Let me explain how.
Factor 1: The Yeddyurappa factor
- After BJP won the 2008 assembly elections in Karnataka, the state was headed by BS Yeddyurappa as its CM from 30 May 2008 to 31 July 2011. But in the year 2013, when BJP was out in the public to seek votes, it didn’t have BS Yeddyurappa as he had formed his own political party named “Karnataka Janata Paksha”.
- This was a major blow to the BJP because in the 2013 elections, KJP had secured 9.8 percent votes, and it won’t be wrong to say that all these voters were from BJP. But now, he is back in BJP and this has boosted the party workers.
- Another plus point for BJP is that Mr Yeddyurappa is a mass leader of the Lingayats. The Lingayats constitute almost 20 percent of Karnataka’s vote share. After CM Siddaramaiah’s attempt to divide the Lingayats failed miserably, surveys have said that major chunk of Lingayats would vote for BJP.
Factor 2: The Sriramulu factor
- Present MP and MLA candidate from 2 constituencies, B Sriramulu is portrayed as the Deputy CM face if BJP comes to the majority in Karnataka. Even in the 2013 elections, he had walked out of the BJP and had formed a new party named Badagara Shramika Raitala Congress (BSRCP) and it had succeeded in getting 2.7 percent of votes.
- But now, in a totally unexpected move from the rivals, BJP’s plan of giving a ticket to Sriramulu has created wonders. With his aggressive speech and direct attack on the CM, he has bagged the tag “Star Campaigner”. Shielding him as an MLA candidate has directly impacted 6 nearby districts.
Factor 3: The Modi factor
- In the 2013 assembly elections, the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi had visited Karnataka for campaigning but it was totally opposite to the response he gets when he takes out a rally these days. So, to the rivals’ disappointment, the BJP has the Modi-wave on their side.
- Until April 30th, 2018 the political pundits said that BJP would get anywhere around 90-95 seats. But soon after PM Modi entered the election battle field, the same political pundits predicted BJP to cross the majority mark quite easily.
- Initially, it was decided that PM Modi would hold 15 rallies but looking at the Kannadigas’ desire to hear PM Modi’s speech, the rallies were increased to 21.
- In every rally of PM Modi, there were atleast 1 lakh audience and the road from the airport to the rally spot was fully packed.
Factor 4: Yogi Adityanath
- Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath is also a reason for BJP’s victory in Tripura. Even in Karnataka, by reminding that Lord Ram had a Kannadiga best friend named Hanuman, Yogi created an impression that he is not an outsider as claimed by the Congress party.
- Looking at his speech in rallies, it seemed that his main target was to expose the anarchy of Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah. And this worked too. Alarmed after Yogi’s successful rallies, Congress leader Dinesh Gundurao gave a call to throw sandals at Yogi Adityanath when he comes to Karnataka. This statement heavily backfired at Congress as the state witnessed massive protests against this.
Factor 5: Amit Shah
- Even Amit Shah’s rally has succeeded to gain media attention for his scathing attack against the Siddaramaiah government. He led the attack in Karnataka by saying “Across Karnataka, wherever I went, people want to replace Siddaramaiah and the Congress government in the state”.
- He even campaigned in the constituencies where the BJP candidates were facing stiff competition, so that the Congress’s calculations would be toppled.
Throughout the election campaigning, the BJP didn’t lack any star campaigners whereas Congress party was heavily dependent on Rahul Gandhi but he lived up to his expectations and ruined the Congress party with his blunders.
The BJP was successful in creating awareness among the public about the scams executed under the Siddaramaiah government. Last year, the voters turnout ratio was 71.83 percent and this time it is expected to increase to 75 percent.
Looking at all these developments, it is said that BJP will cross the majority mark of 113 seats quite easily.