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May 24, 2019

BJP garnered over 51 % votes in Karnataka LS polls

Agencies

Bengaluru, May 23: The Modi wave that swept through the State enabled the BJP to garner over 51 per cent of votes, thereby decimating the Congress and its ally, JD(S), eating into their vote share.

The JDS, the state's lone regional party, that had two Lok Sabha members in the previous Lok Sabha was reduced to just one this time as its vote share declined drastically compared to the 2018 assembly election.

The BJP garnered 51.38 per cent of votes, about 8 per cent more from 2014, according to Election Commission data.

Against its previous tally of 17 LS seats in 2014, the saffron party won 25 out of the total 28 this time while an independent candidate Sumalatha Ambareesh backed by it wrested the JD(S) bastion of Mandya.

The JD(S) had fielded seven candidates in Karnataka but only one candidate, Prajwal Revanna, could win from Hassan constituency, a traditional JD(S) citadel from where party patriarch and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda had been winning.

Gowda vacated Hassan for his grandson Prajwal and moved to contest from Tumkur, only to be defeated at the hands of BJP candidate G S Basavaraj.

The veteran had fielded his another grandson and chief minister H D Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil Kumaraswamy from Mandya who too was defeated.

In the just concluded Lok Sabha election, JD(S) secured 33.97 lakh votes, which is around 9.67 per cent of the total vote share as against 34.06 lakh votes (about 11.07 per cent of total votes polled in the state) in 2014.

In the 2018 assembly election, the JD(S) had got 67.26 lakh votes, which was 18.36 per cent of the total votes polled. On the other hand, its rival BJP got 1.32 crore votes, (around 36.22 per cent).

The BJP wave also swamped the Congress, an ally in the Karnataka government headed by Kumaraswamy.

Against its tally of nine seats in 2014, it won only one seat of Bengaluru rural this time.

The party got 1.12 crore votes, which is 31.88 per cent of the total votes polled whereas in 2014, Congress managed to garner 1.26 crore votes, which was 41.15 per cent of the total votes cast.

Both the Congress and JDS had contested the polls together under a seat sharing arrangement.

Besides the Modi factor, the poor performance of the coalition partners could be atributed to the infighting and bickering among senior leaders and workers of the respective parties who allegedly worked to defeat their combine candidates in many seats.

In Mandya, several local Congress leaders allegedly joined hands with disgruntled JD(S) workers to defeat Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil Kumaraswamy who was making his electoral debut.

Nikhil lost to Sumalatha, a film actress and widow of popular Kannada actor-turned-politician Ambareesh.

In Tumkur too, Congress' sitting MP S P Muddahanume Gowda initially rebelled against the party's decision to give the seat to JD(S) under the seat sharing pact but later relented.

The bickering among the leaders did not go down well with the electorate and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda, who contested from Tumkur, lost to the BJP's G S Basavaraj.

To compound the coalition's problems, a section of the Congress commenced the 'Siddaramaiah for CM' clamour.

Addding to its woes, a few rebel MLAs indicated that they would join the BJP.

One of them, Umesh Jadhav quit the party, joined the BJP and fought against Congress stalwart Mallikarjun Kharge from Gulbarga Lok Sabha constituency and defeated him.

BJP garnered over 51 % votes in Karnataka LS polls

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