New Delhi, Aug 11: A party that rules the state is normally expected to win the civic body elections. However, this time around the going does not appear that easy for the Congress which is putting every effort to seize that opportunity from the BJP in the upcoming elections to the BBMP (Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike) elections.
There are three players in the BBMP elections- Congress, BJP and the JD(S). However the fight is expected to be a direct one between the Congress and the BJP.
The campaign is getting louder and the BJP which was very often accused of not handling the garbage menace in the city now will go to town with the fact that Bengaluru has been voted as the cleanest capital.
Both the BJP and the Congress has a lot at stake in the BBMP elections and let us analyse the chances of the parties involved in this high decibel battle.
For the Congress there is a lot at stake. It would not want history to be re-written as normally a ruling party goes on to win the BBM elections. Moreover this is a personal battle for Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who as at every step of his tenure dodged calls for his stepping down.
If the Congress were to lose the BBMP polls then the voices of dissent in the Congress for him to step down could get louder.
Siddaramaiah would heavily rely on ministers, K J George, Roshan Baig, Ramalinga Reddy, Krishna Byre Gowda and Dinesh Gundu Rao. These are ministers who hail from Bengaluru and would play a very crucial role in the prospects of the Congress. For Siddaramaiah this has become a personal battle and he has decided to lead the campaign himself.
Siddaramaiah who has very often been accused of neglecting the capital city of Karnataka will now pull up his socks and lead a door to door campaign ahead of the polls. He is also in the midst of a rebellion from various aspirants.
There have been allegations that he has ignored several corporators and has given tickets to his favourites. This would be a deciding factor for the Congress and the disgruntled may well work against the interests of the party.
The BJP seems to be extremely confident of winning the elections. Although they have been slow in starting their campaign, they are hopeful of turning the tables in their favour. The campaign led by R Ashok, former Home Minister of the state had not got off to the best of starts.
In fact, there was a section in the BJP which was opposed to him leading the elections, but today the BJP claims that those issues are sorted out.
The BJP has ruled the BBMP for five years and the anti incumbency factor was threatening to cast a shadow over its prospects. However the BJP claims that the repeated attempts to stall the polls by the ruling Congress has not gone down too well with the voters.
Moreover, Siddaramaiah has not done much for the city and this will work in favour of the BJP. The recent announcement of Bengaluru being the cleanest capital in India also helps the BJP.
However, the biggest factor would be that the city has always voted for a party which is ruling in the state. While the Congress would be banking heavily on that factor, the BJP proposes to re-write history with a win in the polls.
The Janata Dal (S) has never been a major player in the BBMP elections. However, it would be hoping that the votes are split up and it could end up playing the role of a kingmaker. Although the intial reports suggest that the BBMP elections would have a clear mandate either in favour of the BJP or the Congress, the JD(S) is still hopeful of a hung verdict.
Recently the JD(S) even called on the Aam Admi Party to back its candidates during the BBMP elections. The JD(S) would also be banking heavily on other players such as the DMK, AIDMK, CPI and CPI(M). These parties may not have any substantial vote base, but could eat into the vote share of the major parties.
It would be interesting to see what the Aam Admi Party would do during these elections. It has decided not to contest the polls stating that it has no resources. Whether the AAP would back any of the parties during the elections is something time would tell.