KJP and BSR Congress play spoilsport and tilt the political balance

The three-way split in its votes following entry of political outfits headed by its breakaway leaders has proved costly for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the urban local body (ULBs) elections as it fared badly despite having the advantage of being in power.

Normally, the BJP used to benefit from split in secular votes due to the fight between the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular). However, the tables have turned, just ahead of the Assembly polls, since for the first time the Congress has taken advantage of the split in the BJP.

As against the Congress’s tally of 1,960 wards, the BJP had to be contended with a humble performance of 906 wards that is almost on a par with the Janata Dal (Secular), which too has won 905 wards. Karnataka Janata Paksha headed by BJP’s former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and BSR Congress led by its former Minister B. Sriramulu have won 274 and 86 seats respectively.

“The statistics themselves show that the BJP could have improved its performance by 360 wards if these leaders had not left. But this was expected as there was no way that we could hold back these leaders in our organisation,” a BJP leader pointed out while referring to the impact of the BJP’s political split on its poll performance. The BJP’s votes had a serious split in 21 districts as the KJP and BSR had fielded a good number of candidates in these districts.

An analysis of poll results shows that the BJP has done badly in about 10 Assembly constituencies where its sitting MLAs are in a dilemma on whether to stay in the party fold or tap the doors of other parties. The fact that this has turned out to be a cause of concern for the BJP leaders was evident with the party leaders trying to establish contacts with these MLAs as soon as the results started pouring in.

The party is concerned over losing the polls in its strongholds of Shimoga, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada. “The setback in our own support base clearly shows that it is not just the split in votes, but also the grouse of people against our behaviour that has put us down,” a leader said.

Interestingly, the BJP is in such a precarious situation that almost all its probable candidates for the State president’s post have met with embarrassment as the party has fared badly in their home towns — D.V. Sadananda Gowda (Puttur), K S. Eshwarappa (Shimoga), Nalin Kumar Kateel (Mangalore) and Prahlad Joshi (Hubli-Dharwad). In fact, the party central leadership desisted from announcing the name of the new State president on Monday following weak results that had dispirited workers.

The dilemma among fence-sitting BJP MLAs on their political future has also affected party’s performance

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