Operation Demoralise the Congress: Explaining the exodus into the BJP
It could be well called as Operation Demoralise. There has been an exodus from the Congress into the BJP in Karnataka. It began with Srinivas Prasad, a key leader of the Congress party from Nanjangud. Then came a big one in the form of former Chief Minister of Karnataka, S M Krishna. On Monday another senior leader and former MP, Shivanna joined the BJP.
The BJP in Karnataka is not just desperate for a win in the 2018 assembly elections. It is desperate for a big win. An internal survey of the party conducted shows that the party is likely to bag anything between 125 to 150 seats. In this context it would be interesting to see what these exoduses from the Congress into the BJP means.
To be be honest, these exoduses will not make a great impact in terms of votes. S M Krishna's last election in Karnataka was not even fought from his home constituency of Maddur. He in fact asked R V Devraj to make way and fought the elections from the Chamrajpet constiuency. In all fairness, it was an election that Devraj won.
In the case of Srinivas Prasad, the BJP hopes to bag the Nanjangud constituency. Prasad's strategic importance is restricted to in and around Nanjangud and for the BJP to win that by-poll would mean a moral victory over Siddaramaiah. Nanjangud and the surrounding areas including Mysuru are the strongholds of the Karnataka chief minister.
The induction of the Shivanna into the BJP too does not hold much of strategic importance for the the party. However what all these inclusions do is demoralise the Congress. The BJP is also keenly waiting actor-politician Ambareesh to cross over. Unverified reports suggest that his wife is likely to get a BJP ticket in the next assembly elections.
The election managers in Karnataka are already in election mode. They are busy preparing a chart to chalk out the victory strategy for the BJP. Sources say that a large exodus is being planned from the Congress into the BJP. The BJP would welcome almost all in a bid to embarrass the Congress. This would demoralise the Congress as a loud message would be sent out to the voter that the party is in a mess.
The Congress is already facing enough hardships at the centre. With no big wins barring Punjab, the party is on revamp mode. The big losses in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and also the inability to form the governments in Goa and Manipur despite being the single largest party have dealt death blows to the party. Karnataka is one of the biggest states the Congress holds and it would want to win it back by hook or crook. However with such exoduses, the party finds itself in troubled waters and experts say that 2018 looks very bleak for them.