Karnataka by-poll: Alliance chemistry worked, Central BJP need to micro-manage state
Bengaluru, Nov 6: The much awaited by-elections in Karnataka are done and it was indeed a major victory for the Congress-JD(S) alliance.
The alliance bagged the assembly seats at Jamakhandi and Ramanagara. In the Lok Sabha segment, the alliance surprised the BJP in Ballari and won Mandya. Shivamogga, after a close fight was bagged by the BJP.
While one may say that barring Ballari, the results in the other constituencies were on expected lines, there is however a loud message. These elections show that not only have the electoral mathematics worked, but the alliance chemistry too has benefited the Congress and JD(S).
Leading psephologist, Dr. Sandeep Shastri tells OneIndia that for long now many have argued that if the JD(S) and Congress come together they can clearly poll a higher number of votes when compared to the BJP. In this by-election, the chemistry of the alliance has been proven. It also shows that the alliance managed to get their act together at the ground level as well, he says.
Dr. Shastri says that at the end of the day, the real difference was at Ballari. It was more or less a status quo everywhere except at Ballari.
For the BJP, what may have gone wrong is the infighting. Secondly it also important to note that Sriramulu, considered to be the strongman from Ballari may not be the most popular leader in the BJP.
The Ballari result is also an assertion by D K Shivakumar of the Congress. His argument has always been that he has not been given the kind of importance he deserves in the party. He has proven with his organisational skills that he is capable of delivering big, says Dr. Shastri.
In the case of the BJP, the internal contradictions have come to the fore. Their leaders have been saying that it is time for introspection and issues relating to the Karnataka State BJP not being in order have yet again come to the fore.
The BJP would also have to introspect where the Shivamogga result is concerned. Despite it being B S Yeddyurappa's home, his son B Y Raghavendra was in for a scare from his nearest rival, Madhu Bangarappa of the JD(S). The margin of the victory for Raghavendra was not exactly something that the BJP would tom-tom about.
There is a clear message for all ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. For the alliance the message is that unless and until they work and stay together they may not make it.
For this more importantly, they would need to also convince the workers on the ground that they need to stick together.
For the BJP on the other hand, it is most important that they put the factionalism to an end. The Central leadership would need to start micro-managing the affairs of the state.
The BJP would need to understand that it is the single largest party in Karnataka. Ahead of 2019, it would need to try and retain as many seats as possible and Karnataka is the state where it is in with a realistic chance when compared to the rest of the southern states. If the state and national unit are not in sync, then there are more troubled times ahead of the BJP, Dr Shastri also says.