13 April, 2021

Soot In The Soul

It shouldn’t take the BJP much effort to tot up its errors

Illustration by Sorit
Soot In The Soul

After 25 years, the Sangh parivar’s so-called ‘gateway to the south’ stands firmly shut. Considering the scale of debacle, this isn’t a temporary setback. The BJP has lost two-thirds of the assembly segments from what it won in 2008 and its voteshare has fallen by almost 40 per cent. A facile explanation for the defeat might blame persistent dissidence in the BJP in the past five years, and the two splits last year that led to the formation of B.S. Yediyurappa’s Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) and B. Sriramulu’s Badava Shramika Raitha (BSR) Congress. That explanation has some truth: figures show that between the two of them, the KJP and BSR Congress received more than 12 per cent votes, which is close to BJP’s 14 per cent  loss.

However, these numbers alone do not explain the BJP’s troubles. Even before the elections, the party couldn’t find credible candidates in nearly one-fourth of the constituencies. Many candidates lost their deposits. And not one-third of the winners are core Sangh parivar activists. Does this...

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