24 June, 2021

Revenge Is Sweet! BJP's Karnataka Sweep Widens Gateway To South of India

Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Analysis: In the Lok Sabha elections 2019, BJP has capitalised on the fractious relationship between the HD Kumaraswamy's Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress in Karnataka. New seats in the BJP romp highlights the allergy towards the current state government

The BJP gets its highest score ever. Sumalatha, a prominent independent candidate, fells CM’s son Nikhil. Congress-­JD(S) have to save their assembly flock now.
Illustration by Manjul
Revenge Is Sweet! BJP's Karnataka Sweep Widens Gateway To South of India

Even BJP leaders possibly never expected Karnataka’s saffron sweep. An emphatic win of 25 out of the state’s 28 Lok Sabha seats which trampled several veteran politicians—H.D. Deve Gowda, Mallikarjuna Kharge, K.H. Muniyappa--to push open the ‘gateway to the South’ even wider. The irony of the BJP victory couldn’t have been more stark—May 23 also marked Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy’s first anniversary in office.

The big question is—can Kumara­swamy’s Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress coalition government hold together? Already, old faultlines within the coalition—ones papered over until elections—have shown up in the last couple of weeks as Congress and JD(S) leaders squabbled openly. “It is up to the Con­gress-JD(S) to spell out what they will do next,” former CM and BJP strongman B.S. Yeddiurappa told reporters. “We will wait and watch,” he said.

For Yeddiurappa, revenge is sweet. He had hastily—and unsuccessfu­lly—tried to form the government when...

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