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Its an uphill task for the BJP to retain power in Karnataka, even as PM Modi gives a late push to party’s electoral fortunes

Twitter: @prashanthamine

Mumbai: Notwithstanding what pollsters are predicting the outcome of the May 10 elections to the 224 member Karnataka assembly on May 13, one thing is apparently becoming clear that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will have to engineer a miracle of sorts to scrape past the majority mark of 113 seats.

All the electoral fortunes of the BJP now rest entirely on the shoulders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who extensively campaigned for the party. Pollsters are still predicting a hung assembly on May 13, claiming that the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) will emerge as the ‘kingmaker’ in the end.

Ever since the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the assembly election schedule on March 29, political analysts had been arguing that the ruling BJP was on a sticky wicket. That was only exacerbated with former chief minister Jagdish Shettar, a prominent Lingayat community leader returning back to the Congress fold, denting the party’s hold over the politically dominant community in Karnataka.

Although another former BJP chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, another rabble rouser and who has announced retirement from active politics, has claimed that the party will win anywhere between 130 to 135 seats.

In the 2018 Karnataka elections, the BJP had managed to win 104 seats, Congress 79 seats, Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) 37 seats, BSP 1, Independent 1 and KPJP 1 seat.

Speaking to thenews21 from Bengaluru, former senior scribe Mohan Babu opined that the elections could witness a photo-finish on May 13. He did admit that the extensive campaigning by Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding rallies and mega road shows has revived the party fortunes at the poll hustings.

Babu further points out that PM Modi had extensively campaigned in the last week before the campaigning ended, as he saw a glimmer of hope for his beleaguered party. He did admit that PM Modi’s roadshows had evoked considerable response amongst the people. However, Mohan Babu adds that it is very difficult to gauge the mood or what is on the minds of the voters. He further adds that the voters are clever not to reveal their real intentions.

Political analysts and pollsters have been predicting a hung assembly with no clear winner. Mohan Babu adds that as of now the JD-S seems to be thinking that it will become the kingmaker at least for now. It all depends on what impact the rallies and roadshows of PM Modi has had on the electorate in Karnataka.

According to political analysts and pollsters, initially the BJP appeared to be lagging behind in the election campaigning with some big leaders like Jagdish Shettar joining the Congress fold. Another singular feature of the BJP campaigning has been that it has been almost entirely rested on the shoulders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This has left a huge question mark on the crowd pulling ability of other party leaders. Mohan Babu further argues that it remains to be seen whether the huge crowds at the rallies and roadshows actually translate into votes for the BJP.

Prashant Hamine
Prashant Hamine
News Editor - He has more than 25 years of experience in English journalism. He had worked with DNA, Free Press Journal and Afternoon Dispatch. He covers politics.


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