BENGALURU: The saffron wave that engulfed the nation swept through Karnataka as well with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) winning
25 out of the 28 parliamentary seats dealing a blow to the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress alliance, rendering the one year old coalition between the traditional rivals, almost untenable.
The BJP even counting the victory of Sumalatha Amarnath (Sumalatha Ambareesh) to its own tally since the party had officially backed the independent candidate.
This has been the best result by any party since 1989 when the Congress won 27 out of 28 seats. The BJP’s vote share also 51.38%, the highest since 1984.
The performance indicative of the underlying anger between the workers of the two parties who are willing to work against each other even if it leads to handing the advantage to the BJP. The results in the parliamentary elections also questioning the very decision of whether the H.D.Kumaraswamy-led coalition could continue in office with such glaring differences that cannot be ignored any longer.
“I cannot say right now what will happen to the state government in the future," said R.V.Deshpande, the state’s revenue minister and senior Congress leader.
He even went on to say that the seat sharing exercise should not have happened the way it did. “Seats should have been given where candidates could win," he said.
JD(S) had won two seats in 2014 while the Congress had won nine. Bolstered by the recent November by-poll victories, the coalition had hoped for a similar outcome in the Lok Sabha polls. Analysts and party leaders saying the results would have been much favourable if the parties had fought individually and not as an alliance.
The BJP also winning one of the two by-poll seats of Chincholi while Kundgol was retained by the Congress with a slender margin. The victory take BJP’s final tally in the lower house of the state legislature to 105 and this could add to its renewed claims to form
The differences in the alliance, brought about to unite all opposition forces to rally against Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP, turning counter-productive and going against their only objective.
Former chief minister Siddaramaiah blamed the people of Tumakuru and Kalaburagi for “meting out injustice" to H.D.Deve Gowda and Mallikarjun Kharge.
The loss made more bitter and extremely person with the defeat of former Prime Minister H.D.Deve Gowda, leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha who had faced just two defeats in his over five decade old career.
Calling the results unexpected, Kumaraswamy wrote on Twitter; “Leaders of both parties of coalition will hold a discussion about the loss of JDS-Congress coalition candidates. Our party has seen many victories & losses over the years and party workers need not lose heart on this loss. Let us strive to strengthen the party in the days ahead."
Though Kumaraswamy put up a gracious statement, the loss handed to the electoral debut of his son, Nikhil, due to the consolidation of Congress votes behind Sumalatha, is not expected to taken lightly. Many believed that the defeat in Mandya alone could have led
to the downfall of the government. Also, Prajwal Revanna won from Hassan that could threaten the dominance of Kumaraswamy in the family and sway towards his brother, H.D.Revanna.
“Congress and JD(S) should make it clear what they want to do now. This unnatural alliance which faced a mortal loss should tell the people if this government should continue. We will wait for their decision and I will not make any comments before that," said B.S.Yeddyurappa, the state BJP president.
His counterpart from the Congress, Dinesh Gundu Rao said that there was no thought on these lines as the party had won of the two assembly by-polls.
“This was expected in a coalition where each party is trying to pull down each other," Narendar Pani, political analyst and faculty at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) said.