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I do not think Modi can save the BJP in Karnataka: Dr Sandeep Shastri

Updated: April 15, 2013, 8:01 PM IST
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I do not think Modi can save the BJP in Karnataka: Dr Sandeep Shastri
Dr Sandeep Shastri joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the Karnataka Assembly elections.

A lot of people are predicting that the BJP government is on its way out in Karnataka and the Congress is stated to make a strong comeback. Eminent social scientist and analyst Dr Sandeep Shastri joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.

Q. Will BSY emerge as king maker.. Asked by: Radhe

A. Doubt it Radhe. At best he and his party could be a spoiler in this round.

Q. Will KJP also fight in all the state assembly seats.. Asked by: Raman

A. Raman I guess your question is where will the KJP land up in this elections. My guess is that will garner a few seats and will spoil the chances of the BJP in many more.

Q. There will be no surprise in store for BJP..is it going to lose big time..but surprise may come for congress if it doesn't get clear majority..what's your say. Asked by: Randhiv

A. Randhiv you have got it bang on. There is no surprise in the BJP losing power but will they be pushed to third position? If the Congress does not gets its acts together and does undo part of the damage caused by controversies over seat distribution, we may be in for some surprises. It would then the familiar story of the Congress not crossing the half way mark even if people wanted it to.

Q. Does the reported comments and related FIR against Maha minister RR Patil disturb the Congress votes in North Karnataka? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. Not really Sundar, I don't think developments in Maharashtra will impact on the Congress prospects in Karnataka.

Q. Is it going to be another hung Assembly, with Maximum MLAs from Congress & they have to form Govt with JD(S) support? Asked by: Thekath

A. Thekath if the unseemly mess seen in ticket distribution continues in the Congress party during the election camapign, it may not surprise many that it goes below the half way mark. Then who comes in second and how many seats independents get will be critical.

Q. The results of the Karnataka Vidan Soudha elections may not have a bearing on the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for Next year, unless it gets preponed.you would like to differ? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. Agree Sunder save in Karnataka.

Q. Will there be surprise for KJP if it comes in fourth potion.. Asked by: Ranbir k

A. Ranbir, the fourth position is the best it can hope for, anything below that would be a huge disaster!

Q. I have a feeling that both national parties with a sullied image may give way to Deve Gowda & co to take control of the state. DP you envisage that possibility? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. Sundar it is a bit difficult to envisage this possibility given the limited political space that the JDS has come to occupy. Given the 'father - son' leadership duo and the exit of all other major leaders with a mass base, the JDS would find it difficult to offset the Congress in Old Mysore region.

Q. What percentage votes share may secure by left parties and is there chance for getting any seat? Asked by: kr kanippayoor

A. Kanippaayoor, the left parties have small pockets of influence. In the past they have won an odd seat here and there. This time around, it is difficult to see it doing well in the state.

Q. My understanding is that Congress is not getting any additional/ positive vote...other than its traditional vote banks (comprising of minorities, dalits etc.). It is the split of votes of BJP that will help Congress.. Is this correct? Btw, Is there any chance of BJP staging an up set? Asked by: CSG

A. CSG, your last question first. Evan a die hard supporter of the BJP would not believe in private, that the party has a chance to come back to power. The Congress traditional vote is not limited to minorities and Dalits. The strength of the Congress has been its support base across social groups. The same had reduced considerably in the last elections. So for the Congress to stage a comeback is not a huge challenge as it already has that support across groups. Can it put up a united front is the question.

Q. If BSY emerges as King maker..what is the possibility that he will demand the CM post for himself..keeping in consideration how power thirsty a person he is.. Asked by: ganag

A. Ganag there are too many ifs and buts there. If he becomes king maker would mean his party comes in with enough number of seats to bargain. Secondly, other parties should be pushed to the wall to bargain with him. Both do not look to be distinct possibilities as of today.

Q. Don't you thin BJP would have been in a better potion if they would have kicked BSY in the beginning rather than pulling the matter to such a extend.at last BSY did what he wanted and BJP image went for a toss..it would have been better if BJP would have removed BSY in the begging. Asked by: Rabul

A. Rahul, could have happened. Lets also remember how central BSY was to the BJP. So removing him would have been a big decision. Please also note that BSY played a critical role in the choice of his two successors even when he was out of power.

Q. Is Modi going to campaign in k'taka..do you think even if he campaigns there will be any change in the mood of the people..after all Modi will come to state just fro campaigning...where was he when power thirsty Yeddyurappa was eating the state resources. Asked by: Rajeswaraya

A. Rajeswaraya, the BJP claims that Modi will campaign. Even if he does, my guess is that it will be limited. Past experience has shown that Modi has not extensively campaigned when he knows that his party does not stand a good chance of winning. UP elections were a case in point.

Q. hi sir, do you think after so much angar against upa then also ppl will vote for cong in Karnataka? Asked by: dhiren

A. State politics is a different cup of tea Dhiren. When the voters see the choices before them in Karnataka, the Congress at the moment seems a viable option.

Q. Will BJP win 30 seats in the state? Asked by: Rajnesh

A. Your guess is as good as mine. It should surely cross that number as things stand.

Q. Will this assembly result affect the 2014 LS polls also..in 2009 BJP won 19 seats here..with such performance form Karnataka BJP will not be able to form govt.. Asked by: Raka

A. The Assembly elections may well impact on the 28 seats in the Lok Sabha poll from Karnataka. It may also give a morale booster for the winner in the state.

Q. Sir, I have spoken to many of my friends, who are supporters of Congress. I have observed one confusion in them! They are not able to tell, who their leader in Karnataka and who will become CM, if Congress is voted to power!! They are also talking about JDS and KJP supporting the Congress govt. So, this shows that, they are not confident about Congress winning majority! So, with this kind of confusion, I don't feel like voting for Congress. So, what is the alternative for me!? Asked by: Rukmini

A. Rukmini, the Congress party stand of anointing the leader with the blessings of the High Command after the poll has been a long tradition which it refuses to give up. This creates a dilemma. Believe me, there are more seekers for Chief Ministership in the Congress than possibilities of Cabinet Berth! Not declaring a leader, gives room for infighting and each leader undercutting the chances of the supporters of a potential rival.

Q. Do you really think there will be any surprise..the only surprise I think will be when BJP will come to 2nd potion winning more seats than JD(S) otherwise the result is more or less known to everyone..BJO is going to lose big time in the state. Asked by: Rohit

A. The surprise elements is not in terms of the order of the winning parties but the distance between each of them.

Q. Will Modi's campaign make any difference for BJP in the state? Asked by: Elvij

A. I doubt Elvij it will make a serious difference.

Q. Voting the Congress of JDS back to power is like, falling into the ditch during day-light, which we had seen during previous night!! What is your opinion, sir? Asked by: Kumar

A. Kumar, many do beleive that it is a choice between the devil and the deep sea. However, a Congress out of power for years and hoping to come back to power at the Centre may act with greater probity is the fond hope of many

Q. What will happen if votes are split. Will the party's form coalition government? And if yes who will coliate with whom? Asked by: R K J

A. This all depends on the final standings. If no party secures a clear majority, it depends on who is the frontrunner in terms of seats. How much more does that party need to secure a majority. Will independents support be enough or would it need the support of another party are some of the important factors in any permutation and combination.

Q. I still predict a BJP (of Sorts) coming back; albeit with crutches...how do you evaluate the situation, Sir. Asked by: Madhu K. Nair

A. Madhu, given the way the party has managed power for five years, it is difficult to see it coming back to power with or without crutches.

Q. I predict 190 seats for Congress and 3 seats in Lok Sabha elections later. Asked by: kp vidyashankar

A. Oh Vidyashankar that a very liberal prediction that will gladden the hearts of Congress leaders. The reality I think would pitch them much less. As for the Lok Sabha poll, remember there is a honeymoon period in every state when voters do not vote against a party just voted to power.

Q. UPA (or Congress in disguise) is in power for last 10 years. They have miserably failed on all fronts. Biggest scams in the history of India has happened during UPA's rule and its P.M Dr.Manmohan Singh blames the "Coalition compulsions" for all this failures! So, how can we believe that, this kind of irresponsible, power-hungry, weak party can give good government in Karnataka? So, why will people vote Congress again!? Asked by: Narendra Kumar

A. Narendra, voters in Karnataka have always distinguished between Delhi and Bangalore. When voters caste their vote for the Assembly local factors dominate and one critical one would be the performance of the state government.

Q. Sir, do you think that Siddaramaiah has a good chance of making it to the top in case Congress gains a simple majority .. I know that in Congress, nothing can be said with any certainty but does he appear in your opinion as a first among equals? Asked by: Vedanth

A. The race for the top is close and still wide open... Siddaramiah is clearly in the race. Having been Deputy CM before, this is the only position he seeks. The only point that goes against him is the fact that he moved to the party recently and party loyalists may not favour him leading their government.

Q. Sir, is CPI contesting in Karnataka elections? and have they won any seat in karnataka before? Asked by: gopal

A. The last date for nominations is still away. The CPI has won seats in the past. It did win the Rajajinagar when veteran CPI leader MS Krishnan won. It also used to win a seat in South Kanara where its leader Kakilaya used to win and in Davangere where Pampapathy was MLA. This was quite some time ago.

Q. People of Karnataka elected BJP with lot of hopes. People had lost all hopes with Congress and JDS, and that's why they had elected BJP. But, Yedyurappa who had lust for power dashed all the hopes. He used "Reddy Brothers" and that misfired. Today, both Yedyurappa and "Reddy Brothers" have deserted BJP. The situation in Congress and JDS haven't improved. So, people don't see any hopes with those parties! So, don't you think, people of Karnataka will give 2nd chance to BJP - just like they did in Gujarat (after Vaghela deserted BJP)? Asked by: Narendra Kumar

A. Narenrda this is what a BJP supporter would hope. Reality could be different. People have brought back those they ousted in the past. Mrs Gandhi's return to power in 1980 is a classic case. The Congress return to power in Karnataka in 1989 and the JD coming to power in 1994 are classic cases in point. For people, the short term political memory is important. That is what favours the COngress and the JD(S).

Q. Dear Sir, Do you think the daily hungama going on in front of Congress office wrt ticket distribution will create some sort of a negative perception and impact the final tally of the congress ? b) Secondly, somehow I get a feeling despite reading opinion polls showing them crossing 112 that they may fall short of the magic figure. In such a case, who do you think they may most likely align with - JDS or KJP? Asked by: Deepak

A. Deepak that has the potential of impacting on the Congress prospects. The gainer would depend on the region. JD(S) in Old Mysore and KJP or BJP marginally in Northern Karnataka.

Q. Is Karnataka election result going to be mood of 2014 general election? Asked by: Mallikarjun

A. Mallikarjun, it may not dramatically impact on the 2014 polls save in two ways. First it would indicate the Karnataka trend and two would be a great morale booster for the winning party.

Q. Taking Kerala 2011 as an example, where the incumbent LDF fell short of 2 seats (results were 72-68 (140) in favour of congress led UDF) and the credit was given to the anti-corruption crusader and CPM stalwart VS Achuthanandan. Now that BJP has thrown out Yedurappa, can we expect a similar result if not a win for BJP with Modi factor? Asked by: Adarsh

A. Adarsh, BJP parted ways BSY (or vice versa) too late in the day to shrug off the negative impact.

Q. Doctor, Pl respond based on your experienced & observation over long carrier, Congress will gain how many percent of vote & seat? Give reply very honestly. Asked by: Deepak Desai

A. If the campaign sees no major gliches and the party is able to maintain a facade of unity, there is likely to be a marginal increase in vote share and the potential for a significant increase in seat share. Does the potential get translated to reality is what the next 20 days will decide.

Q. Sir, BJP hasn't done what Congress has not done. And we have seen in the past that, people didn't reject Congress when they misused power. So, why do you suggest that this time the people will vote differently? Asked by: SSN

A. In Karnataka SSN, there has been a game of musical chairs since 1985. In the case of the ruling BJP its is a combination of factors - non performance, infighting and charges of corruption.

Q. Don't you think it should be made mandatory by election commission for all the parties to announce their CM or PM in case of LS be announced before election...voter should know whom they want as CM and they are voting for.. Asked by: Ravi kishen

A. Ravi, in a parliamentary system you are choosing legislators and they decide on the leader. An element of the Presidential system cannot be injected into parliamentary government.

Q. With the way Congress /JDS ruled earlier, don't you think, giving BJP a second chance makes sense.. as the corrupt people have been removed from BJP? Asked by: Rakesh

A. Rakesh that would be the fervent wish of a die hard BJP supporter. Again ground reality may be very different.

Q. The Karnataka assembly election would have been a better platform for Aaam admi party to launch them self..here voters are confused whom to vote..they are fedup of congress BJP JDS..they might have given AAP a good chane..keriwal should have been in Bangalore rather than fasting in Delhi..what's your take sir.. Asked by: Randhir singh radhwa

A. Randhir the AAP is still consolidating its presence and has not registered a real presence in Karnataka.

Q. Who will be the CM if Congress comes to power in 2013 Karnataka assembly- Asked by: babu

A. Balu this is the question for which there is no clear and visible answer. It could be their leader of the Opposition in the Assembly or one of their Union Ministers from Delhi or the State Party President or anyone else!!! As I said they have more CM aspirants than berths in the Cabinet!

Q. In my opinion congress will get 100-115, BJP- 40-50, JDS 30-35,KJP-10-20 and rest others like BSR etc.. Asked by: satish

A. That's a nice prediction and as things stand today has some validity.

Q. Hello sir It has been the practice of BJP to tell Rahul gandhi campaigned and congress lost in UP and so he is not fir to be PM. i want to know do you think modi will campaingn in karnataka and as BJP will lose at any cost can we conclude modi is not fit to be PM? in my opinion no matter who campaigns for BJP they will lose in Karnataka what you say sir? This is the worst government Karnataka ever had. Asked by: mahesh

A. Mahesh, that why I believe that Modi's campaign in Karnataka will be limited.

Q. Congress has released its list of candidates for 177 seats ,looking at the choice of candidates what is your view on how well tuned it is ?(given this is the 1st state to go to poll after rahul gandhi elevation to VP of INC) Asked by: apoorva

A. Apoorva, there are some controversial names. The party could have experimented with more new faces and could have benefited with many more women faces

Q. Sir, don't you think having fed up with a number of scams/scandals taht have taken place during the ruling of UPA 2 in particular,people though not happy with infightings within Karnataka BJP, wouls still bring them back to power? Asked by: Shyam Vadalker

A. Shyam, there are different issues that drive Lok Sabha and assembly elections

Q. With BSY and BSR being projected as spoiler, as being done in the campaigns by BJP, does it seem likely that BJP may cut its losses by the time the date of polling arrives? A situation similar to UP where only the 2 principal parties gathered the highest vote share? Asked by: P

A. Not likely to happen.

Q. With the candidate list almost announced, which party do you think is currently facing the highest discontent amongst workers and what is its likely impact. Asked by: CP

A. CP, the Congress of course as the party that is perceived to be in the lead will have the largest contenders for its ticket.

Q. BJP government has been a disaster in Karnataka. Corruption, infighting etc is rampant in the party and the writing is clearly on the wall for everyone to see. Even after this what makes you think that the may result would throw some surprises? Asked by: SR

A. What makes me think of the potential for surprise is what is happening within the Congress. The lack of direction and leaders pulling down each other could cost them dearly.

Q. Sir, With Congress's past decades performance and infighting, JDS's Minority and caste politics, BSR and KJP's few snatching seats, How do you assess BJP in this election and approximate seats expected. Asked by: Vishwanath

A. Vishwanath, politics is the art of the possible. And here anything is possible!!

Q. Can Modi's campaign turn around things for BJP? Asked by: Hariprasad

A. Hariprasad, not too sure what would the impact be. Given the crisis the party faces, I am not too sure that could happen.

First Published: April 15, 2013, 8:01 PM IST
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