Karnataka Assembly Elections: its nationwide implications

Karnataka Elections 2018 Opinion Poll

Suhail Mohammed           10/4/2018

So, this summer as the sun blazes all over, there will be scorching political heat as well.The much-awaited poll bugle in Karnataka has been blown, and preparations for the showdown are on. We will be witnessing an intensely fought poll battle in the recent times. Political parties are in full swing to prepare the ground, and this battle of the throne will go down the wires for sure.

The Karnataka assembly polls are slated to be held on 12 May 2018 in all the 224 constituencies of the state. The counting of votes and announcement of results will take on 15 May 2018. The incumbent Congress party with Siddaramaiah leading from the front will lock horns with two opponents, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal (S). The Arvind Kejriwal led AAP will mark its debut in the state. Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen(AIMIM) has announced their foray into the Karnataka political battleground.

There has been extensive coverage of the poll in TV debates and discussions, live shows, pre-polls are being done, ground visits by editors are done, but the billion dollar question of who will emerge victorious in the assembly polls is yet to decipher. The political pundits are confused and are refraining from making remarks.But one thing that is for sure is that this election will have greater implications and will transcend geographical boundaries. This will lead the way to the showdown in 2019.

The mighty BJP after its thumping victories in the northern, eastern states and Gujarat will come to Karnataka high on confidence. The poll victory in Tripura was phenomenal, and the party would like to carry forward the momentum.BJP declared their first list of 72 candidates for the state polls. But the party received mixed reactions with local leaders seen dissatisfied.The party’s local leaders slammed the national leadership for ignoring the ‘valuable’ suggestions of the district level core committees. The BJP has also planned to offer tickets to a few seers this election to bring in religious angle into play. But, the party would be happy with the fact that the state is anti-incumbent with a change in governments every five years. This in a way will boost their morale.

BJP is seen to be reluctant enough to put its star campaigner PM Modi in the foray and place him in the backseat, although he will address several rallies and road shows in the state. This is seen as a strategic step as he has to keep his energy and reputation intact for the make or break final showdown-the 2019 general elections.In the state, BJP has put forth it’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa up front, but the 75-year-old stalwart’s real performance will be tested in the poll ground.

For Congress, it is a fight for survival. Karnataka is the last major state which is still under its rule, and they would desperately want to keep the state in the pocket. To keep BJP’s wishes of a country that is Congress must, the party needs all guns to stand and deliver on expectations and put up a valiant fight.Other than Karnataka, the Congress party remains in power in just a few states, and any shocking results for the party will be devastating for its preparations for 2019.If Congress losses the state, the BJP will be in a sniffing distance from realizing its dreams of a Congress Mukt Bharat.

The Congress party, under a resurgent Rahul Gandhi in the polls, looks comfortable.With Siddaramaiah leading the campaign and Rahul making several visits the grand old party seems to be satisfied the way their preparations are going. His meetings with several opposition leaders are also seen as a welcome move for a united opposition in 2019. The party fared well in the Gujarat elections towards the end of 2017.Gujarat is not only seen as a sign of improving fortunes but a sign of resurgence.It won the three by-poll seats in Rajasthan, where the party was decimated in 2014 general elections. The party easily thrashed the mighty BJP in the by-polls and sent waves of revival across the nation.

The Congress party also secured the support and wishes of the Lingayat leaders as 30 senior Lingayat leaders endorsed CM Siddaramaiah and the Congress Party. This is seen as a big blow for BJP president Amit Shah as this could have a pivotal impact on the results, and the BJP knows this very well.

Aam Aadmi Party led by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is also making a debut in the polls. The valiant AAP decided to field candidates where they find winning chances. The party has put forth some credible faces in battle.It has fielded Renuka Vishwanathan in Shantinagar, a former secretary to the Union government, social entrepreneur Prithvi Reddy, aeronautical engineer Santosh Nargund among the 28 AAP candidates declared so far by the party. The party has also got the support of former Lokayukta Santosh Hegde.This would boost their poll preparations.

The Karnataka elections are a month away and are significant in many ways.The results whichever way it goes will have regional impacts and would have reflections in 2019. Political parties will leave no stone unturned to have the poll results in their favor, and nail-biting results are around the corner for sure.

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