Results should give more voice in Delhi to Opposition-ruled States

With the BJP having lost much of its numbers, the way business is done in parliament is bound to change.
The old and new Parliament buildings on the eve of a special session, in New Delhi, Sunday, Sept. 17.
The old and new Parliament buildings on the eve of a special session, in New Delhi, Sunday, Sept. 17. (File - PTI)

Karnataka’s Lok Sabha results this time are a repeat of the May 2014 elections, though much has changed on the ground. BJP remained the favoured party with 17 MPs, the Congress fought back from one seat to a respectable nine, and JDS held on to some turf with two MPs. The story of the day was the loss of Bangalore Rural, held by D K Suresh, brother of KPCC president D K Shivakumar, turning it into a personal setback for the deputy chief minister. The Congress conceded its bastion of Bengaluru’s suburbs and rural pockets to the BJP, which posted its first victory in the constituency. The JDS lost its home turf Hassan to the Congress, while the BJP continued its domination of Bengaluru city, where its urban vote base remained intact.  

Neither of the two national parties appeared satisfied with their showing in the state. Congress leaders were confident of double-digit figures, hoping to ride on the delivery of guarantees; but it seems they did not read the situation too well in some constituencies. The BJP, charged up with an aggressive Modi-Shah-Yogi campaign and its JDS alliance, was expecting a repeat of its 2019 show of 25 seats, but fell far short. The JDS, reduced to insignificance after the assembly polls, piggybacked on the BJP to ensure that its leaders lived to fight another day. The Prajwal Revanna sex scandal, which broke out after the first phase of polling, made a significant impact on voters in the second phase; Prajwal himself lost.

For Karnataka, ruled by an opposition government, the changed numbers will mean its voice will now be raised in parliament. The Congress had consistently accused the 25 BJP MPs of failing to bring up the state’s issues with the Centre; that will hopefully be rectified. It had also run a campaign charging the Modi government with discrimination in releasing drought relief funds and devolution of taxes.

This holds true for other southern states too, which had to knock on the doors of the Supreme Court with their grievances. With the BJP having lost much of its numbers, the way business is done in parliament is bound to change. Narendra Modi’s assurance after the results that the central government “will work with all states” is an indication that the spirit of cooperation, not confrontation, is likely to prevail. That works to the advantage of all in a democracy.

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