Bengaluru: While the Congress and Janata Dal (S) are hoping that their tie-up for the coming Lok Sabha poll will keep the BJP in check in most constituencies of the state, they may have miscalculated as a straight fight is expected to benefit the saffron party in many places.
The major problem could be that the seats allotted to the JD(S) by its coalition partner in the government don’t match its strengths. For instance, although Mr Muddahanume Gowda of the Congress stands a good chance of retaining the Tumakuru seat, it has given it away to the JD(S), which has a better chance in Mysuru should Mr Deve Gowda contest from there. But as things stand today the BJP seems well placed again in Mysuru.
The coalition partners may have been better off with a friendly fight in at least five to six seats in old-Mysuru given their respective strengths in the region. By fielding common candidates in these constituencies, they also risk losing their rank and file, upset by the arrangement, to the BJP.
The JD(S) has not polled enough votes in Hyderabad-Karnataka, Mumbai-Karnataka and Coastal-Malnad to alter the results in favour of the Congress considerably in these regions either.
Also, the fact that there is a Congress-JD(S) government in the state may not hamper the BJP’s chances if its record of the last couple of Lok Sabha elections is anything to go by. While in 2009, when it had a government in the state, the BJP won 19 seats, the Congress, a mere six and the JD(S), three, its tally fell by only a couple even with the Siddaramaiah government in power in the state in 2014. Although its affairs were in shambles with former Chief Minister, B S Yeddyurappa quitting it and later rejoining it, the saffron party managed to win 17 seats in the Lok Sabha elections that year, with its hefty score attributed to the “Modi wave.”
This time it has an added advantage as unlike in 2014, when it had only 40 seats in the Assembly and was later joined by six members of Mr Yeddyurappa's KJP, the BJP has 104 members in the Assembly, which changes things considerably....