The Karnataka Assembly Election of 2018 is very important for both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress in the present political scenario of India. A win in Karnataka election is a gateway for BJP to South India and Congress also doesn’t want to lose it as it will cost them one of the two major states that they are in power. Unfortunately for the Congress party, the chances for win in the state are very less and BJP look like the favourites to win this election.
In 2013 elections, BJP Karnataka witnessed a three-way split. One faction was the main Karnataka unit of BJP and the other two were Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) and Badagara Shramika Raitala Congress (BSRCP). KJP was headed by the present Chief Minister candidate of BJP, BS Yeddyurappa and BSRCP is headed by Sriramalu, who is going to wrestle Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramiah in the Badami constituency. As BJP lost two tall leaders during 2013 elections, they lost a huge chunk of vote share but the party got strengthened now as they got re-united with these two leaders.
The vote shares of BJP, KJP and BSRCP were 19.9%, 9.8% and 2.7% respectively. These three factions together constitute a total vote share of 32.4% and hence approximately, we can assume that the total vote share of BJP, if they had contested united in 2013 would have been 32.4%. Congress’s vote share was 36.6% in the previous elections. So, If there is a 4% votes swing from Congress to BJP in the upcoming elections, undoubtedly BJP will get a huge majority. There are high chances for this swing to happen and the reasons for the same are:-
Regain in trust of people:
We saw that the total tally of three factions of BJP in 2013 was 32.4% but practically, BJP would have received more than 32.4% if they had contested together in 2013. Due to the split, BJP and its faction lost trust of the people and eventually lost votes. As the united BJP had regained the trust of people, they would regain some of the votes that went for Congress or JD(S) because of a certain dip in faith. This will constitute a small but significant amount of swing votes from Congress to BJP.
No government can escape anti-incumbency. Ruling party has to witness a small percentage of anti-incumbency factor, but this will play a crucial role in closely contested elections like Karnataka. This anti-incumbent votes shifting from Congress to BJP will be one of the deciding factors in the upcoming election.
Congress Government under CM Siddaramaih had made a mess by proposing a separate religion for Lingayats thinking that this will gain them Lingayat votes. Lingayats represents 9% of Karnataka population. The ground reality is that Congress is going to gain only a negligible amount of votes by proposing minority category for Lingayats. This move had angered the other communities in Karnataka for creating divisions in the Hindu community. This proposal from Congress is going to make them lose votes instead of assisting the party to gain votes.
Previous elections in Karnataka didn’t witness the Modi factor. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign has received tremendous response from the Kannada people. It is a complete downside for Congress for not having a leader as charismatic as Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi’s campaign is going to swing a huge number of votes from Congress to BJP and the amount of swing is going to be the deciding factor of Karnataka election 2018.
There are high chances for 4% votes to swing from Congress to BJP because of all the above factors. If this swing happens, BJP will surely win at least 115 seats and form government with clean majority and the number of seats can even go till 130, if BJP is able to wrestle Congress in close contests.
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