Lok Sabha Polls 2024 : Whom will the Karnataka voters bless?

By Manjunath K. Shresthi

April 08, 2024


If politics is the art of the possible, then getting the party ticket, fighting elections and emerging victorious is what every candidate looks forward to. Karnataka goes to the Lok Sabha polls in two phases on April 26 and May 07. In the 2019 polls, the BJP clean swept and won 25 of the 28 seats, and helped the Mandya candidate to win.

But in the assembly polls held in May 2023, the Congress party won 136 of the 224 seats. So, can the BJP repeat its last performance or even better it in the upcoming LS polls ? The BJP and JD (S) have formed an alliance to take on the mighty Congress party in the state. The BJP leadership never
forgets to repeat, that it will win all the 28 seats, on the charisma of the Prime Minister Modi. The BJP has turned back to former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, and his son B.Y. Vijayendra, the party president.

Poll arithmetic, calculations, the candidates standing in the constituency and winnability have been taken into account by all the parties. The Congress has given six women party tickets to contest across the state. The children of current ministers in the government have been doubly blessed and have got tickets to contest in the upcoming polls.

Whom will the voters choose? The BJP has its development agenda to showcase of the last 10 years and banking upon Modi to win the maximum number of seats. The Congress party too has plans of winning 20 seats because of its guarantees, which it has showered on the people since it won in May 2023. Assembly polls are fought on local issues and LS polls on national issues. The BJP has a lot to showcase and is leaving no stone unturned in wooing the voters. The Congress party is selling its guarantee model, and how it has changed the lives of the people. So the voters have many options to choose between the BJP and the Congress candidates.

Each constituency is spread over a large area, and issues from all corners have to be balanced to get the desired results. But how successful can the candidate catch the imagination of the voters will decide how many seats the party will finally win?

Dissent within the party: Political groups or powerful individuals in every district are a reality, and their nuisance value has to be taken into account. In some constituencies the insider versus outsider debate has been raging. The candidates who did not get the seat may also play a large role in
deciding the victory of the party’s candidate. Tussle amongst the party big wigs may also take its toll on the party’s electoral prospects.

Some of the aspirants have defied the party, and are getting ready to test their luck as independent candidates. K. S. Eshwarappa plans to contest from the Shivamogga constituency as an independent. B.Y. Raghavendra, will have to fight the Congress and the independent candidate. What surprise will the six time MP BJP’s Anant Kumar Hegde from Uttara Kannada (U.K) district, who did not get the party ticket may do will be keenly watched.

Alarm bells have been sounded that the Congress party may not survive for long post the results on June 04. But such statements are largely in the realm of speculation and may not hold much face value.

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