BJP-JDS alliance on, but vote transfer may not be simple

The two parties, which are said to have come to an understanding, could win a majority of votes only if votes are transferred from one party to another.
Image used for representational purposes (Express Illustrations)
Image used for representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

BENGALURU:  In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Bharatiya Janata Party fought a united Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) (19+9) combine and still won 25 seats out of 28 in the state with a 52 per cent vote share. In 2014, BJP fought JDS and Congress, recording a vote share of 45 per cent as against Congress’ 41 and JDS’ 8-9 per cent. This time, as political analysts hit the statistics book to see which way the 2024 polls will go, the BJP-JDS alliance looks like a winning combo, but only on paper.

The two parties, which are said to have come to an understanding, could win a majority of votes only if votes are transferred from one party to another. However, the 2019 Cong-JDS experiment showed that vote transfer is not as easy as assumed. Political analyst BS Murthy said, “With JDS and BJP coming together, the era of Janata Parivar is back as the social configuration of Karnataka changes back to Vokkaligas and Lingayats. At the outset, the combo looks formidable as it can reach a vote share of 50% if it works on the ground. This could revive the relevance of JDS and increase the reach of BJP, which is looking for partners across the country.”

The new combo could make Lingayats in the BJP uncomfortable as the sole claimants of the party’s core social base. JDS will now have to fight for 85 percent votes as the minorities will never vote for the combination. In many areas in southern Karnataka, Lingayats who are with BJP and opposed to Vokkaligas could support Congress.

In many Old Mysore areas, it would mean Vokkaligas vs the rest. While Congress managed an impressive 43% vote share in the May 10 Karnataka Assembly elections, the big question is whether it will repeat the show in Parliamentary polls. JDS, which vehemently denied any alliance with the saffron party just a day ago, is now saying it was stitched for its very political survival. The party may field Nikhil Kumaraswamy again. Meanwhile, some insiders said that the coming together of BS Yediyurappa and HD Deve Gowda could spell difficult times for BJP National General Secretary (Organisation) BL Santosh. This is because the alliance seems to have come about because of Yediyurappa.

The   JDS-BJP alliance for the LS polls is almost certain, with JDS MLAs and MLCs miffed with Congress, JDS MLA G T Devegowda said on Friday. He said 19 MLAs and 7 MLCs are upset with Congress action against JDS workers, including sending them to jail. They feel the need to ally with the BJP to fight the Congress, said Deveg-Gowda, who is  JDS Core Committee chairman. People will soon revolt against the government as development works have taken a hit, he said. Clarifying that former CM H D Kumaraswamy is not against going with BJP, he said JDS has planned a show of strength in Bengaluru on September 10. 

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