Only 11 Congress men in Karnataka lost deposit, will trend continue?

ECI data shows BJP lost 31 seats and JDS 139, none from AAP secure deposit
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

BENGALURU: Candidates from the ruling Congress lost their deposits in 11 constituencies out of 223 seats the party contested the May 10 Karnataka Assembly elections followed by the BJP with 31 (224) and JDS 139 (209), according to the statistics released by the Election Commission of India (ECI). The data shows that candidates could not garner one sixth of the total number of valid votes cast in the polls following which the ECI forfeited their security deposits.

As many as 2,111 out of the 2,615 candidates who contested from 224 Assembly seats from 93 parties lost their deposits, most of them from parties that have no strong foothold in Karnataka, including the AIMIM and NCP. If the trend continues to be like this with a triangular fight between the Congress, BJP and JDS in the Old Mysuru region and straight fight between the two national parties in mid and north Karnataka, the Congress may have a slight edge in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, observed political pundits.

Congress has the lowest number of candidates losing their deposits as most of them secured at least one sixth of the votes. But the probable alliance between the JDS, albeit a tacit one, with the BJP, with the regional party restricting it to contest only five-six seats in the Old Mysuru region may change the equation, according to experts. 

“The trend is unlikely to be similar in the LS polls as the issues that struck a chord with the voters may not strike again as there will still be larger issues at the national level,” said psephologist Dr Sandeep Shastri who pointed out that Karnataka in the past gave its mandate to two different parties in assembly and LS polls. 

But this time, whether I.N.D.I.A floated by 26 Opposition parties, headed by the Congress party, can make an impact by ensuring “secular votes” do not get split is to be seen, an expert said. “It has happened in the May 10 Assembly polls which is why the Congress could get a thumping majority of 135 seats,” he remarked.  

Aam Aadmi Party(AAP), which acclaimed the status of a national party, had fielded its candidates in 209 seats and none of its candidates saved their deposits. Mayawati’s BSP fielded its candidates in 133 seats that witnessed only one of its candidates -- R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy -- originally from the Congress, saving his deposit in Pulikeshi Nagar seat. Interestingly, the former minister and newly elected Gangahavathy MLA Gali Janardhana Reddy’s Kalyana Rajya Pragathi Paksha (KRPP) fielded its candidates in 46 seats of which its candidates managed to secure one-sixth of the polled valid votes in four seats. 

It may be noted that in the 2019 LS polls, the BJP had won 25 seats, one each by Congress and JD(S)despite forging an alliance, and an independent from Mandya in the form of Sumalatha Ambareesh. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has been asserting that the Congress will win 20 seats at least in 2024 LS polls.). 

As many as 2,69,764 voters(0.69%) chose NOTA. Of the 917 independents in the fray only two secured their deposits with altogether securing 15, 93,517 votes(4.07%)

Cong
Total Seats contested: 223
Seats won:135
Votes secured: 1,67,89,305 (43.08 %)
Lost Deposit: 11 seats

BJP
Total seats contested: 224 
Seats won: 66
Votes secured: 1,40,96,604(36 %) 
Lost deposit: 31 

JDS
Seats contested: 209 
Seats won: 19
Votes secured: 52,05,690
(14.27%)
Saved deposit: 139.

AAP
Seats contested: 209
won: Zero
Votes secured: 2,25,869
(0.62%)
Lost deposit: 209

BSP
Contested seats: 133
Won: Zero
Votes secured: 1,20,448 (0.51%)
Saved deposit: 132

SDPI 
Contested seats: 16 
Won: Zero 
 Votes secured: 90,482 (3.4%) 
Lost deposit: 15

KRPP 
Contested: 46
Won: One
Votes secured: 2,48,284 (3.2%) 
Lost deposit: 42

NCP
Contested: 9
Won: Zero
Votes secured:  1,05,273 (6.62 %)
Lost deposit: 7

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