Rama Krishna Sangem
As expected in Exit Polls, Congress comfortably won Karnatka assembly elections as results are out by 12.30 noon May 13, Saturday. Polling was held on May 10. Congress won 126 seats in a House of 224, requiring 113 for simple majority, while BJP which lost power bagged just 67, followed by JD(S) with 25 and others got 6 seats. These figures are likely to change little as some seats are still in final rounds of counting of votes from EVMs.
The results show, Congress doesn’t have to depend on JD(S) for forming government, a privilege its leaders were hoping for. Newly elected Congress MLAs are meeting in Bangalore on May 14 evening to elect a leader who will become the next CM. Obviously, the race for CM post is between – PCC president DK Shivakumar and former CM Siddaramaiah, both won with comfortable margins.
CM Bommai concedes BJP defeat
A crestfallen Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai conceded BJP defeat, even as he won as MLA. “We take this results in our stride, we will introspect to know where things went wrong. We will definitely come back in coming Lok Sabha elections,” Bommai told media persons this afternoon. Till Saturday morning, the CM was saying that BJP will come back to power, and dismissed the projections of exit polls.
Apparently, the BJP leadership, both national and state levels, is in a shock over losing a major state from its hand, in recent times. After loss of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan five years ago, the party has been faring well in most states it contested. It lost power in Himachal Pradesh recently, but its win in Gujarat clouded that defeat. In Punjab too, the party failed to make an impact, but it was not in power there before anyway.
So, for all practical purposes, loss of Karnataka is a big blow to BJP, not only in the state but at the national level. As the entire campaign was based on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charisma, and coordinated by Home Minister Amit Shah, the party will have to rework on its strategies to win a third term in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Though the party won UP municipal elections, whose results came on Saturday, they were paled before Karnataka.
BJP out of South India
After losing Karnataka, BJP is now out of power in all five southern states – Telangana, Andhra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala too. This is hard to digest development for the saffron party which pinned hopes of staging a ht-trick at the Centre in 2024. BJP leaders say, even in Karnataka, the LS results will be in their favour, but there is no such guarantee. A united Congress leadership in Karnataka may help them win majority of 28 MPs seats too.