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The Karnataka verdict is a voter-delivered slap on BJP: Saritha Rai


Updated: May 8, 2013, 5:58 PM IST
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The Karnataka verdict is a voter-delivered slap on BJP: Saritha Rai
Are the Karnataka Assembly poll results a sign of things to come in the next general elections too?

Should the BJP now be wary of a similar result in the general elections as and when they happen? Or can the BJP bounce back? Will it welcome Yeddyurappa back into its fold again? Modi has proved to be a non-factor in the Assembly elections. Will he fare any better when it comes to attracting votes in the Lok Sabha elections? Saritha Rai joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.

Q. Dear Mam, Due you think that the Congress can capitalise on Karnataka victory to provide a better show in 2014? Asked by: Raaj

A. Certainly, with around 120 seats in the 224-seat assembly the Congress has received a much-needed confidence booster with the Karnataka election results. With this, it does get encouraged to provide a good fight in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Q. The Karnataka elections will have no impact on the coming General Elections. If Karnataka elections is the IPL. The General elections is the EPL. The similarity ends there. Do you think the barrage of scandals that rocked UPA 2 will have an influence in the Lok Sabha polls. Or do people have amnesia. Asked by: Peter Morris

A. Historically, people voting in regional elections bear in mind local-level issues and people voting in the Lok Sabha elections keep national issues in mind. Certainly, issues like corruption scandals and misgovernance will all play a part in the elections, whether regional or national.

Q. The Lok Sabha elections will be fought on a different platform with different issues taking the center stage. This is a vote against the BJP rather than a vote for the Congress. Do you really think that anything is going to change - the level of corruption, nepotism, misgovernance, lack of transparency and accountability. What difference is the change of guard in the states and the Center going to make to the common man. When the euphoria of this victory fizzles out it is all back to square one. Nothing will change. Asked by: Peter Morris

A. Karnataka's voting pattern certainly indicates that it is a disgust vote against the BJP rather than a vote for the Congress. Don't forget, in the past five years of the BJP rule in Karnataka, the Congress played the role of a weak opposition party and failed to take the BJP government to task. Whether anything will change - the Indian voter is an eternal optimist. The voter keeps trying every few years to give a different party a change in the hope that things will change. In some ways, things have changed.

Q. Do you think BJP can make its mark in general elections under modi leader ship in Karnataka? Asked by: abilash

A. The BJP in Karnataka led by Modi? The BJP has its own set of leaders in Karnataka who will have to analyse their disastrous rule of the last five years, chalk up a strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha election and go to the voters with a convincing argument on why they deserve a vote.

Q. karnataka Elections are warning well to BJP. Now it is upon BJP to learn or do mistake again. What BJP shall learn now? Asked by: Raju

A. There is a fitting message in this election for the BJP -- to be taken down from 110 seats in the last assembly election to around 40 seats in the 2013 elections. Within a span of five years, they squandered away their mandate, the first ever given to the BJP in southern India. Certainly, corruption, political opportunism and incompetent governance is not what the voter expects.

Q. How important is cash for vote in rural India? Does it also have effect in urban India? With this result should we expect INC to stay in center even in 2014? Asked by: RMB

A. In rural India and even in some parts of semi-urban and urban India, distribution of cellphone SIM cards, TV digital set top boxes and such new-age gifts have reportedly replaced the good old sari and cash gifts. But increasingly, rural voters are known to solicit and accept these gifts from all sides and then go to the polling booth to cast their vote for whoever they wish, unmindful of whether that party paid them to do so or not.

Q. Why did JD(S) got only one seat in Bangalore is it because people consider it more corrupt than Congress and BJP or cast factors are not its favour in urban areas? Asked by: BSG

A. Unlike the BJP, the JDS has traditionally not set out to woo the urban voter. Don't forget, the JDS supremo HD Devegowda has always branded himself mannina maga (son of the soil) and raithara bandhu (a friend of the farmers). These phrases do not quite resonate with urban voters, though the JDS now recognises that urban voters can hold sway in the elections because there are a sizeable number of urban constitutencies in Karnataka.

Q. As the people of Karnataka has ousted the BJP Government on the corruption scandals of BSY....This is encouraging as this kind of voting pattern of followed in 2014 general elections... Looks that the greater scandals of Congress in centre would lead to its downfall the same way Asked by: Senthilkumar

A. Certainly, the recent scandals hitting the UPA government will dent the Congress image.

Q. Should BJP shake hands with Yedurappa or stay away from him as he has serious corruption allegation against him to improve performance in Lok Sabha elections? Asked by: BSG

A. What the BJP should do with BS Yeddyurappa is for them to decide. But one thing is clear. Yeddyurappa and his KJP have damaged the BJP's chances in a considerably large number of constituencies even though its influence has not always translated into a victory for the KJP. The reality is that the BJP and Yeddyurappa need each other.

Q. Hi Saritha, My understanding is that in Karnataka there is not much difference in the way people vote for state elections or Lok Sabha elections..How much will surely effect BJP's chances during the national elections..Should they be worried?.. Asked by: JK

A. How do you say that? Karnataka's voters particularly have been extremely discerning in how they vote in the state elections and national elections. Even when the assembly and Lok Sabha elections have come in quick succession, voters have made widely differing choices - as is obvious from the voting patterns and victories of the last two decades.

Q. which is going to help the BJP in center either election at the earliest or after completing years term? Asked by: Murugesan Narayanaswamy

A. Certainly, the rate at which scandals are hitting the Congress-led UPA government in New Delhi, the further the elections are, the more they are at a disadvantage.

Q. BJP High Command didn't handle Yeddy well. If Woman Reservations be applicable from General Elections, it will benefit Congress. What do you think? Asked by: Manoj

A. BS Yeddyurappa is a stubbon, temperamental leader. In his three years as chief minister of Karnataka, he barely did much for the state, busy as he was fighting corruption charges, trying to save his government from toppling and fending off dissidence. When the Lokayukta mining report revealed large-scale loss to the state government, the clamour for his head was very loud. In some ways, the BJP had no choice but to get rid of him as chief minister. Some leaders tell me that they should have assuaged him and offered him other facesavers.

Q. In Case we are seeing the results as defeat of corruption than i believe Congress has more to worry than BJP during 2014 election. Do u agree Asked by: S Chaturvedi

A. The Congress' trump card in both Karnataka and New Delhi is stability. Coalition governments whether in Delhi or at the regional level have demonstrated weak staying power. That said, corruption will definitely be an issue in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election.

Q. Madam Rai Good evening This result is basically is due to split up of BSY and does not have any bearing on the 2014. What your take madam. Asked by: SIVAKUMAR IYER BS

A. The result is party due to a split of the BJP vote between the BJP, KJP and in small pockets the BSR Congress. The verdict is also a voter-delivered slap on the BJP's face for running a lousy government for five years and doing nothing for Karnataka. The voter clearly believes that the BJP did not deserve a second change. The verdict will have limited bearing in the Lok Sabha elections when national issues will come into play.

Q. Do you think BJP can fight strongly in loksabha elections in 2014 under Modi leadership in Karnataka Asked by: abilash

A. The 2014 election will be a fight between the Congress & Rahul Gandhi on the one side and the BJP & Narendra Modi on the other, in large parts of India. It will be the same in Karnataka too.

Q. In Case we are seeing the results as defeat of corruption than I believe Congress has more to worry than BJP during 2014 election. Do u agree? Asked by: S Chaturvedi

A. The BJP certainly has to worry big time over the 2013 Karnataka assembly verdict. But the Congress simply cannot afford to be complacent, as it is not a convincing result in its favour. If anything, both parties will have to start afresh and work doubly hard to convince voters in the next round (Lok Sabha elections) on why they deserve to be voted in.

First Published: May 8, 2013, 5:58 PM IST
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