As the polling campaign for the Karnataka assembly elections gathered momentum, the BJP leader said on May 1 that the BJP might not be too far from the 100-seat mark but would be just short of a full majority of 113 in the 224-member Legislative Assembly. The BJP leader’s view was that this was a significant improvement from the 60-70 seat range projected for the BJP in April.

In the face of anti-incumbency, allegations of corruption, a headwind of a rising cost of living, and the departure of a few leaders from the Lingayats, the party’s main caste base, the BJP is widely believed to have recovered somewhat to meet the challenge and ascend Congress and Janata Dal (secular ) in Wednesday’s elections.

It is widely believed that a vigorous campaign by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, mainly using the message of development, blundering Congress, and using the Hindutva ticket in the last stages of the vote-counting phase, has helped the BJP regain a fighting stance for itself. on the eve of the poll.

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Senior BJP leaders such as Union Home Minister Amit Shah, former Vice President and Lingayat strongman BS Yediyurappa expressed confidence in securing the BJP’s first-ever full majority after falling short by three seats in 2008 and nine seats in 2018 when Party forced. Resorting to tactics such as buying MLAs from other parties or independents to form a government.

Karnataka is the first southern state in which the BJP has been able to form a government and has never voted on the return of the current government to power after a full five-year term since the 1970s when the Congress government of Devaraj Urs got a second term.

To defeat the BJP, the main weapon the Congress party has unveiled is a set of five safeguards aimed primarily at the poor, with the intent of capitalizing on widespread anger over the rising cost of living, including the price of cooking gas and fuel. The guarantees of the Congress include a monthly income of 2,000 rupees for the woman who heads the household, an allowance of 3,000 rupees for unemployed graduates, 10 kg of rice for each family member below the poverty line, 200 units of free energy for poor families, and free bus travel for women.

JD(S), the main challenger to the Congress in southern Karnataka with an intermittent presence in other parts of the state, has made its own set of promises, including supplying five LPG cylinders for free a year and waiving loans from women’s self-help groups.

Noting that the issue of increasing LPG prices and rising cost of living may have been the central issue in the elections, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also promised three LPG cylinders for free during major festivals.

The Congress – which has been in campaign mode for over a year with its anti-corruption ‘PayCM’ campaign against PM Basavaraj Bomay and announcing guarantees at regular intervals – has found itself in a vulnerable position in the past 10 days with party leaders providing Prime Minister Narendra Modi with fodder to attack him.

Statement by Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge equating the PM with poisoning, Statement by Ex-Congress Messrs. Siddaramaiah that a Lingayat Congressman (Basavaraj Bommai) has been found to be corrupt, Suggestion by Congress Spokesman Priyank Karg that Modi was a ‘Nalayak’ and Statement issued The state’s Congress chief DK Shivakumar points out that the BJP’s Lingayat Dam was set to burst – after two major BJP Lingayat leaders joined the party – the BJP used it to its advantage.

Congress in its statement promised to ban Bajrang Dal for being involved in criminal activities. Modi was a plan of the opposition party to imprison all followers of Hanuman (Bajrang Bali) in the state. “First they (Congress) locked up Lord Rama and now they have vowed to lock up those who chant ‘Jai Bajrang Bali.’ It is the country’s misfortune that Congress has had a problem with Lord Rama is now having difficulty with those who say “Jai Bajrang Bali”.

The BJP went to town on the episode of Hanuman, with Prime Minister Modi raising the issue to consolidate and galvanize the core Hindutva vote base even as political analysts – even within the BJP – suggested that Congress’ promise to ban Bajrang Dal was a strategy to boost the Muslim vote and prevent division. Muslim votes by competitors such as JD (Q). Muslims make up 12% of the population and number over 35,000 in 63 of the 224 seats.

The BJP leader said, “The issue of banning the Bajrang Dal will benefit Congress in general. In places where there are weak candidates in JD, Muslims will vote en masse for Congress. The Hindutva vote is with the BJP already and that won’t matter to the BJP.” .

The last few days of campaigning in Karnataka have been marked by images of key leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress paying temple visits. On Tuesday, Basavaraj Bommai took part in chanting Hanuman Chalisa at a temple as did Union Minister and BJP election campaign official Sobha Karandlay. Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar also prayed together at the Chamundeshwari temple in Mysuru on Tuesday night to make an offering of unity.

The Congress has been doing its best to show unity between its two main leaders who are known to be engaged in a behind-the-scenes battle to be the next President of Karnataka if the Congress gets a simple majority. Shivakumar himself had been working on a temple for several days and had projected a deeply religious Hindu side to himself during the campaign.

The BJP contested the elections primarily under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi with Bommai’s name being mentioned as the CM candidate on a few occasions by BJP President JP Nada. Amit Shah said that a “senior position” would be given to BJP minister V Somanna, who is from Lingayat, if he could defeat Siddaramaiah at Varuna.


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