Lotus blooms in Karnataka

BJP emerges as single largest party

The Election Commission declared the Karnataka Assembly Election Results on 15 May, 2018.
In the Karnataka Assembly Elections the BJP, which won only 40 seats in 2013, has emerged as the single largest party by winning 104 seats in the State but narrowly slipped from the half-way mark as counting was done for 222 of the 224 Assembly seats.

The ruling Congress which had won 122 seats in 2013 is at the second position with 78 seats down 44 seats from it’s earlier position while the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) has finished third in the race with a tally of 37 seats while its ally BSP has won from one seat. Two independents have also registered victory. Of the 224 seats, elections have been postponed in R.R. Nagar and countermanded in Jayanagar constituencies.

Whichever way one looks the victory of BJP, the Party’s performance has been very commendable. From a mere 40 seats in the outgoing 224-member assembly, to the single largest party with striking distance from a majority is no mean achievement.
For quite some time now, the BJP has looked at Karnataka as its entry point into the South India and this result will give BJP an edge over the Opposition Parties in the South, encourage the Karyakartas of the party and definitely going to influence the result of 2019 general elections.

The BJP has done really well in its traditional strongholds such as Coastal Karnataka, Northern Karnataka and urban areas such as Bengaluru. In one hand the BJP State President Shri B.S. Yeddyurappa has retained Shikaripura for the eighth time, while the State Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was defeated by a whopping margin of 36,042 votes. He will, however, represent Badami in the Vidhana Soudha.

While becoming the single largest party is an achievement, on closer examination it looks more like the Congress lost Karnataka more than the BJP won it. The BJP has been attributing party’s performance to the charisma of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the organizational skills of BJP President Shri Amit Shah and the hard labour of Party Karyakartas.

During the elections the Corruption ridden Siddaramaiah government was battling history when he was aiming for re-election. A huge anti-establishment anger was also seen during the elections and it was reflected in the fact that 21 of the 32 ministers in the state cabinet, who contested, have lost elections. The Congress Chief Minister himself lost from one of the seats, Chamundeshwari, he was contesting and barely scraped through in Badami. Several Congress stalwarts such as TB Jayachandra, Ramnath Rai, Umashree, Santosh Lad and Basvraj Rayareddi have been defeated. Even the Chief Minister’s close cabinet associates such as HC Mahdevappa, a veteran of several elections and H Anjenaya, who formed the backbone of the Congress’s AHINDA (a Kannada acronoym for backward classes, minorities and Dalits) coalition also lost.

The irony is that now to ward off the BJP’s quest to seize another State from it, the Congress has been forming an opportunistic, unholy post poll alliance with JD(S) and they have decided to form a coalition government in the state. BJP State President Shri B.S. Yeddyurappa has dubbed the Congress’s support to the JD(S) as the party’s attempt to come back to power through the back doors.

The reemergence of the BJP in Karnataka after 2008, when it formed the government with 110 seats and later secured majority has increased BJP’s winnability in the southern states and enhanced its cceptability among the people and regional parties in the South. At the outset, victory will boost the BJP’s confidence ahead of 2019 General Election for returning to power at the Centre breaking the myth, that the party cannot return to power. It’s prospects have been brightened as it’s theme Congress-Mukt Bharat has come almost true. Like Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi quipped, after Karnataka verdict the Congress has now became a “PPP” party – Punjab, Puducherry and Parivar party.

PM Modi addresses party Karyakartas at BJP headquarter

‘BJP represented India and our proud diversity’

Soon after the BJP emerged as the single largest party in Karnataka elections, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on May 15, 2018 took the battle to the opposition, especially the Congress, stating that the results show the hollowness in the perception created about the BJP being largely a “north Indian party”.

Stating that language never become a barrier between him and the people of Karnataka, during his campaigning in the state, Shri Modi said, “A perception was created in the country that the BJP is a party of north India — a party of only Hindi-speaking states. Neither Gujarat, nor Maharashtra, Goa, Assam and not any state of the Northeast are Hindi-speaking, but a perception was created. And such lies are spread again and again.”

Addressing a gathering of party workers at BJP’s central headquarters in New Delhi the PM said people of Karnataka have given a jolt to those with such “distorted thinking”. But the BJP, he asserted, is a party spread in each corner of the country, and dedicated to resolve problems of every region. He said the country will now move shoulder to shoulder with Karnataka on its path of development, and that the BJP will never let development of Karnataka be affected.

Without naming the Congress, Shri Modi said no one had imagined that the political party that was in power at the Centre for so many years since freedom will hurt the country’s federal structure, the spirit of federalism, and even the Constitution only for electoral politics and self-interest.

He said Karnataka had a great impact on him, and admitted that the lack of knowledge of languages in various states was a hurdle for him. “But the people of Karnataka gave me so much love that language was never a barrier,” he said.

The PM also extended condolences to families of the deceased in Varanasi accident in which an under-construction collapsed, leaving at least 16 people dead. “I am happy with the Karnataka victory but I am saddened by the loss of lives in Varanasi,” he said.

PM Shri Modi also expressed grave concern over the violence during Panchayat polls in West Bengal. He said, “There is one more thing I want to talk about…the scenes from the Panchayat Elections in West Bengal. It was nothing but a murder of democracy. From the nomination stage to the day of polling, where was the spirit of democracy? People were bullied.”
“People were disallowed to file nominations also. It is not only BJP people who suffered. People from all the leading parties except the one that rules Bengal suffered. This is serious. A land as great as West Bengal has to see such sights, it is unfortunate”, noted the PM.

‘BJP would work for the progress of Karnataka’

Earlier addressing the party workers BJP President Shri Amit Shah pointed out that Karnataka would be the BJP’s 15th straight victory. Noting that the BJP emerged as the single largest party but fell seven seats short of the halfway mark, the BJP President said, “All Congress people are happy that the BJP did no get absolute majority. I want to tell them that people of Karnataka have reduced their seats from 122 to 77 — the Congress has lost.”

He said, “Your Chief Minister himself lost from his traditional seat and won with a narrow margin of only around 1,700 votes on another seat. Half your Cabinet members have lost.” Shri Shah accused the Congress of having always contested elections in Karnataka in “most immoral ways”.

He said, “First they took support of SDPI and PFI, (Islamic) organizations that are involved in anti-national activities and are a threat to the country’s security. You tried to contest the election by taking support of such organsiations for vote-bank politics. You come with a proposal to give minority status to Lingayats. The division on caste lines the Congress started after Rahul Gandhi become party president…the party attempted the same caste politics here as well.”

Shri Amit Shah also assured the people of Karnataka that the BJP would work for the progress of the state.

The BJP, which had won 104 seats in Karnataka was invited by Governor Shri Vajubhai Vala to form the government in the state; however, the deadline given by the Governor was reduced by the Supreme Court and Yeddyurappa had to prove his majority on the floor of the House at 4pm on 19 May, 2018.



However, Shri BS Yeddyurappa, who was sworn-in as the Chief Minister of the state on May 17, stepped down right after he made a speech on the floor of the Assembly, and withdrew his motion for a trust vote in the face of opportunistic Congress-JD(S) alliance.

Shri Yeddyurappa, who turned emotional while delivering his resignation speech, said that the mandate was not for the JDS and the Congress and that they indulged in opportunism. “I will travel across the state non stop. We have received tremendous love and support across the state. For 2019, I promise, we will win 28 out of all 28 Lok Sabha seats. I won’t relent. I will continue to fight. I hereby resign as CM. I thank people of Karnataka,” he said.

PM Modi emerges as most mentioned personality on Twitter

Twitter has registered over 30 lakh tweets related to Karnataka Assembly election ever since the campaigning for the highly polarised election started in the state.

While Bharatiya Janata Party garnered 51 per cent mentions on Twitter, Congress and JD(S) registered 42 per cent and 7 per cent mentions respectively.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi emerged as the most mentioned personality on Twitter. The data was released by Twitter for the period between April 25- May 15.