In an ‘equal fight’ in LS polls in State, Congress enjoys edge due to women voters, claims chief

Published - May 19, 2024 09:08 pm IST - MYSURU

The editor of web portal H.V. Vasu (left) and journalist Krishna Prasad participate in a discussion on ‘Elections 2024 - Prospects and Perspectives’ in Mysuru on Sunday.

The editor of web portal H.V. Vasu (left) and journalist Krishna Prasad participate in a discussion on ‘Elections 2024 - Prospects and Perspectives’ in Mysuru on Sunday. | Photo Credit: M.A. Sriram

In an “equal fight” between the Congress and BJP in the recently-held Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka, Congress enjoys an edge because of the women voters, claimed editor of web portal H.V. Vasu.

Participating in a discussion on ‘Elections 2024 – Prospects and Perspectives’ organised by Mysore Open Forum here on Sunday, Dr. Vasu said their pre-poll surveys had shown that Congress tally could not only range from 13 to 22 seats out of the 28 seats in Karnataka, but also come down 9 or go up to as high as 26 seats for various reasons.

The recent elections in Karnataka were so “close” that even 1% swing of votes could give either party a “landslide” win.

Dr. Vasu also pointed out that ensuing elections were a “straight” fight between candidates from Congress on one hand and BJP-JD(S) on the other with no room for a three-way split of votes in any constituency in the State, barring Shivamogga, Chikkodi, and Davangere, where Independents are expected to poll a substantial chunk of votes.

Hence, the outcome of the polls to a large extent depends on the “undecided” voters, including women. During the surveys by their web portal, more number of women than men had disclosed that they were “undecided”. The other undecided voters included non-Kuruba other backward classes (OBCs), youth and farmers.

If the women’s votes for the Congress are 3% higher than men’s, the party stands to win 10 to 11 seats, but if the percentage is higher by 7 to 8%, the Congress will cross 13 seats, he said, while adding that it was not easy to understand preference of women voters during the survey. A significant number of women had not disclosed their preference to the enumerators even when their family loyalty was towards the BJP-JD(S), he said.

Senior journalist Krishna Prasad, who also participated in the discussion, pointed out that the global media, which is generally critical on “authoritarianism” creeping the country, undermining its democracy, is on the same page as the BJP and the Indian media on the outcome of the 2024 general elections. “They are saying that the BJP’s return to power is imminent”.

Mr. Prasad also wondered if Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “actions and words” in the last few weeks reflect the BJP’s ambitious claims of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) crossing 400 seats.

He pointed out that only once in the last 17 general elections since India became independent had any party crossed the 400-seat mark, which was in 1984 when the Congress won 414 seats post the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

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