The discussions about Karnataka State Elections have already started with people taking guesses on the winning horse. Is it too early to talk about it? No. Because politics hinge on both the present and the past. It is so fragile that it makes a complete U-turn owing to a particular event or even a mere statement made by the politician. Though one cannot precisely predict the results, however, can certainly bank upon few deciding factors. So, here we are with a few possibilities favoring both the major parties, BJP and Congress for the upcoming Karnataka State Elections.
It is a known fact that Caste is a major card played in Karnataka politics and even politicians have never fallen flat to use it to their advantage. Looking at the 2013 elections, despite allegations against Yediyurappa, BJP got a solid 9.8% vote share.
Experts opine that BJP had lost the elections because of Yediyurappa and Sriramulu forming their own parties, diving the votes. This factor along with the added corruption allegations against BJP lead to the formation of new Government under the leadership of Siddaramaiah. With now Congress Government completing its 5 years, it is time for Karnataka state elections, 2018.
Today, the political situations are such that the things are favoring and disdaining both the parties. So, here we have tried to put forth those factors which can have a deciding influence on the results of upcoming elections.
Advantages for Congress
1. Officially there are no corruptions charges filed against Siddaramiah and his Government.
2. BJP has never passed any proved allegations against the Congress Government which shall be noted.
3. Siddharamaih belongs to a Backward class community.
4. The recent Karnataka Flag and Language issues may help them in consolidating Kannada people against the Hindi imposition by BJP.
5. Siddaramaih has no opposition in the Party.
6. Siddaramaiah was found to be involved in several projects which are of high visibility. Pavement work, Indira Canteen, Metro Construction, and a couple of Pedestrian activities will definitely add.
7. Mass Welfare Schemes like Anna Bhagya irrespective of the negative comments have made its mark in the rural areas.
8. Congress has given a stable Government and there has been no major revolt – unlike the change of three chief ministers under BJP rule.
9. BJP has no strong leader and it lacks unity. The recent failure of Amith shah’s visit to the state and the slow pace of ‘Parivarthana Rally’ can aid Congress in a big way.
10. The chances of Janatha Dal joining hands with BJP is less considering their past coalition with BJP. However, Janatha Dal’s move is unpredictable.
Disadvantages for Congress
1. People have not forgotten the IT raid made on K.GovindRaj and documents that exposed the top Congress leaders in the scam.
2. The rampant corruption in the Steel flyover project. Though it is not officially reported or alleged however it will be remembered.
3. Siddaramiah hiding the facts of GOI’s fund and grants flow to the state. The poor governance and the lack of development in the state are clearly visible.
4. More than 20 political murders with the suspicious deaths of few Government officials (D.K Ravi and D.S.P Ganapathi) will be remembered.
5. Yediyurappa has recently got a clean chit from High Court in Mining Scam.
6. There have been many switchovers in the Congress Party. Jaya Prakash Hegde who has a stronghold in coastal regions of Karnataka has joined BJP. Kumar Bangarappa (son of Ex Chief Minister Bangarappa) who belongs to the Idiga community has joined BJP along with two ex-MLAs.
7. The news about S.M Krishna joining the BJP Party can be a big blow for Congress.
Reasons being – S.M Krishna belongs to a powerful Vokkaliga community and the transformation of Bengaluru as the IT hub can be attributed to S.M Krishna and his tenure.
8. Many IT companies in Bangalore are folding up or shifting or downsizing. People feel it is because of infrastructure problems. They fix responsibility on Congress Government.
9. After the recent heavy downpour, many parts were inundated with water. The government has not taken any action in the last four years. They blend to forget immediately after rain subside.
11. Siddharamiah celebrating Tipu Jayanthi and the entire controversy created will have an impact on getting votes from Hindus.
12. Chief Minister’s tacit support to Lingayat, for a separate status of religion, do not go down well with Hindus. There is every possibility of the rest uniting against Congress.
13. Karnataka still tops the list of most corrupted state in India. Nothing much has changed in last 5 years.
Advantages for BJP
1. Yediyurappa has no opposition in the party. He is a strong leader and has come out of all the corruption cases clean.
2. The Modi Wave and Amith shah’s strategies can be an influencing factor.
3. Yediyurappa is a big campaigner and he pretty well knows the pulse of Karnataka.
4. The Poor governance of Siddharamaih’s Government is a Big Advantage for BJP. Also, the Hindutva factors will definitely come into play.
5. Since 1989, no time the incumbent Government has returned to power. It is alternating since then.
Disadvantages for BJP
1. Lingayaths have divided between Lingayaths and Veershaivas. This will definitely have a deciding influence on the results.
2. Eshwarappa’s episode may affect to some extent.
3. Party has failed to handle the raid on Shiv Kumar’s residence.
4. BJP has never passed any proved allegations against the Congress Government which shall be noted.
5. It will be hard for BJP to get the votes from Muslim and OBC Community. Also, the lack of unity in the party may affect to an extent.
Karnataka state election is going to be a tough one as none of the party has a major influence on the results. On paper, it seems that BJP has an easy chance, however, the reality is equally contrasting.
So, who will win the Karnataka State Elections? Looking at the current scenarios, Karnataka is likely to have a Coalition Government (Samishra Sarkar).