The spectacular victory of the Congress in Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituency against the Janata Dal (Secular) supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is proof enough that the united Opposition alliance against the Congress was disastrous.

What is more striking, however, is that the alliance has indeed resulted in BJP votes gravitating towards the Congress, when the results of the Assembly elections three months ago are compared to the results of the Lok Sabha bypolls now.

In the Assembly elections in May, the BJP had polled 2,58,145 votes in the eight segments falling in the Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituency, while the Congress and the Janata Dal(S) had polled 5,00,900 and 4,76,664 votes, respectively. The Karnataka Janata Paksha candidate in Magadi had polled 27,143.

Comparing these numbers with the Lok Sabha byelection results clearly shows that the BJP-Janata Dal(S) alliance has not only failed to result in more votes for the Janata Dal(S) but also cost them over 35,000 votes.

In the end, D.K. Suresh of the Congress polled 5,78,600 votes, while Anita Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal(S) managed only 4,41,601 votes.

A close look at specific segments makes this even more stark. For instance, in Kunigal, the Janata Dal (S) won 44,575 votes and the BJP 34,943 votes, while the Congress polled 33,919 votes.

In contrast, the Congress polled 56,340 votes in the Lok Sabha polls in this segment against 51,442 votes polled by the Janata Dal(S).

Even in Bangalore South, which has a BJP MLA (M. Krishnappa) and had the party leaders openly campaigning for the Janata Dal(S), Ms. Kumaraswamy polled 54,681 votes against her Congress rival Mr. Suresh who polled 78,994 votes.

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