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Will the Modi factor work this time? What the analysts are saying

By Anuj Cariappa

New Delhi, Mar 15: Claiming that the Narendra Modi factor has not ebbed, political analysts said it would play a decisive role in the coming Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka.

"In 2014, if any state in India that Modi factor has played itself out it has been Karnataka.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Six out of 10 voters had voted for Modi then. Nationally, the number was 3 out of 10. This Lok Sabha election too, Modi factor will play a decisive role," Political scientist Sandeep Shastri said. Apart from Modi factor, JDS-Congress arithmetic and their political chemistry on ground level would play a decisive role in the elections, given the old rivalry between JDS and Congress in Mysuru region, he told PTI.

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"The alliance arithmetic seems to favour Congress and JDS combine, but it has to be seen whether their party workers and supporters accept the alliance at the ground level, especially in old Mysuru region. They have been rivals for the last two decades," he said. Shastri pointed out that the bickerings between the Congress and JDS over the issue of fielding candidates in Mandya seat is one such case.

Asked if BJP would repeat its 2014 performance in Karnataka, Shastri said no party would sweep the elections. The BJP would not repeat its performance of winning 17 seats in 2014 elections. Modi's election has the potential of changing the fortunes of BJP, which was witnessed during last assembly election, Harish Ramaswamy, a political analyst said.

"There is enough data to show that Modi is a big factor in Karnataka. In the last assembly elections, things changed drastically for BJP after Modi started to address the rallies, before that the party was on a sticky wicket," he said. The main reason for BJP's under-performance would be B S Yeddyurappa's leadership, who has been committing "political mistakes," Ramaswamy said.

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"The latest comments by Yeddyurappa that BJP would win 22 Lok Sabha seats due to Balakot air strike has created lot of problems for the party," he said. Yeddyurappa also "lost" some sheen after his "unsuccessful attempt" to topple the JDS-Congress government, Ramaswamy said.

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