Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Tuesday said the upcoming by-polls in the state would have a bearing on the elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan as well as on the Lok Sabha elections next year.
The statement comes days after the top-level leadership of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S), set aside their differences to put up a united face ahead of the by-polls, emphasizing the importance of the upcoming elections, which would become the testing ground for alliance partners and their plans to take on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“The three state elections and next years Lok Sabha polls will be held against the backdrop of the bypolls. There will be an impact of the results on the upcoming elections," Kumaraswamy said on Tuesday, addressing a press conference.
Kumaraswamy is hoping that the coalition forces will be combine all resources as well as populist schemes like farm loan waiver and debt relief waivers announced by the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka to win all five seats, including two seats — Shivamogga and Ballari — that were vacated by the BJP.
The Kumaraswamy-led government is also considering a scheme to waive loans taken by students from economically backward families.
Three parliamentary seats, Shivamogga, Ballari and Mandya, and two assembly constituencies, Jamkhandi and Ramanagaram, will head to the polls on 3 November.
According to the agreement, the JD(S) will contest the Shivamogga, Mandya and Ramanagaram seats and the Congress will fight in the other two. The BJP, the principal opposition party in the state, is contesting all five seats.
Shivamogga and Ballari are two parliamentary seats vacated by the BJP and are crucial for the party in the Lok Sabha as its numbers have now dwindled to 273, including 15 from Karnataka. The BJP’s Lok Sabha bypoll losses in Gorakhpur and Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh as well as a string of other election defeats have been portrayed as the waning of the ‘Modi wave’.
The JD(S)-Congress is hoping to add to the BJP’s recent electoral defeats in the upcoming bypolls.
Former CM Yeddyurappa’s son B.Y. Raghavendra will be contesting against Madhu Bangarappa of the JD(S), who is also the son of former CM S.Bangarappa. In Ballari, B. Sriramulu’s sister J. Shantha will be fighting against V.S. Ugrappa of the Congress, backed by minister D.K. Shivakumar.
The BJP is trying to take advantage of differences between party workers and dissidents within the Congress and JD(S) who are not happy with the coalition.
Kumaraswamy said party workers who had moved from the Congress and JD(S) to the BJP were people who had never worked faithfully for either party and that there would not be any impact of such movements.
Also read: Bypolls likely to further delay Karnataka cabinet expansion