Karnataka BJP has decided to do a detailed analysis of the overall poll results and also constituency-wise outcomes to find out the reasons for the party’s debacle in the Assembly election, outgoing Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on May 14.
In the May 10 elections to the 224-member Assembly, the Congress scored an emphatic victory with 135 seats, while the ruling BJP and the former Prime Minister H. D. Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) secured 66 and 19, respectively.
Rejecting the Congress’s claim that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s defeat, he said multiple factors have contributed to the party’s performance and they will all be analysed. A meeting of all newly-elected members and candidates will be held soon in this regard.
Some BJP leaders including Mr. Bommai met under the leadership of state BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel at the party headquarters here on May 14 and held discussions.
“We have had informal discussions regarding the results and regarding getting information from various regions. We have come to a decision to do a detailed analysis of the overall results and to get a constituency-wise analysis,” Mr. Bommai said.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, he said despite BJP’s vote share remaining the same, seats have come down. The analysis of constituency-wise vote share may give the reasons for it, like segment-wise anti-incumbency, among others.
“It has also been decided to call a meeting of all elected members, followed by a meeting of all candidates to have detailed discussions regarding organising and strengthening the party in the days to come,” he added.
Stating that BJP doesn’t work only for elections, Mr. Bommai said organising the party is a constant process.
Quoting the example of the 2013 Assembly polls when BJP got just 40 seats, he said, “But in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the party got 19 seats. Today, we are in an even better position and will make all preparations for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls in the days to come.”
Karnataka has 28 seats in the Lok Sabha, of which the BJP currently holds 25.
“Accepting the defeat with utmost humility, we will identify the reasons for it, rectify and move forward,” he added.
Responding to a question on the Congress terming the Karnataka poll outcome as Mr. Modi’s defeat, the CM said, “It cannot be Modi’s defeat. Modi is for the entire country, not just for Karnataka. He had come for campaigning here. Congress might have won in Karnataka but has seen defeat across the country. Is it the win of local leaders or State leaders?” Answering a question on the possibility of BJP State chief Kateel resigning, taking responsibility for the poll defeat, Mr. Bommai said there is no such question and it has not been discussed.
He also said that no discussions have taken place as to who will be the leader of the Opposition.
Claiming that the BJP did not fight this election on the basis of Hindutva agenda, the CM said in reponse to a question: “It is in some people’s mind. We fought on the basis of the development agenda of the ‘double-engine government’. It is Congress and its manifesto which tried to potlarise the people.”
Regarding Congress doing well in the Lingayat belt, he said, “Whether it is Lingayat belt or Vokkaliga belt, it is the combination of communities. It is not just one community which will make you win or lose...it also depends on selection and incumbency of the candidate, so we will do detailed analysis.”