By Tuesday afternoon, when the trends indicated that the BJP was heading towards the majority mark in Karnataka polls, the Uttar Pradesh unit announced a grand celebration at the party’s state headquarters. It was said that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will take part in the celebrations. Adityanath has been part of BJP victory celebrations in other states in the past. The Karnataka results were special for Adityanath also, as he had addressed more than 30 public meetings in the state, and the party claimed it had won most of them. Firecrackers and sweets with garlands were brought. But the celebration was cancelled a few hours later. While officially party leaders said it was only postponed, since the party was waiting for the final tally, sources said it had more to do with the quick change in political atmosphere in Karnataka, as the BJP failed to reach the halfway mark and the Congress announced support to the JD(S).
If it was Karnataka which hosted the party’s Gujarat Congress MLAs during the fiercely contested Rajya Sabha elections last year, a fractured verdict in Karnataka left everyone wondering where MLAs will now be hosted. The opportunity has been lapped up by neighbouring Kerala — to promote its tourism. In a tweet in the evening, Kerala Tourism invited “all MLAs to unwind at the safe & beautiful resorts of Gods’s Own Country” after the hectic electioneering that concluded on Tuesday.
Caution In Action
After the embarrassment faced by several BJP ministers who hastily retweeted former I&B Minister Smriti Irani’s rather assertive tweet on fake news guidelines, on Tuesday some of these ministers acted with caution. Despite the jubilant outlook for BJP from the time counting began, offices of the ministers typed out their victory tweets but refrained from posting anything. Alliance partner RPI’s Ramdas Athawale however went ahead and held a press conference at 1 pm to talk about BJP’s “resounding success in Karnataka, and Congress’s defeat”. By evening, as news of Congress-JD(S) alliance trickled in, Athawale was quick to take on a sombre tone. His line: even if the Congress forms the government now, poll results show that things are looking up for the BJP in 2019.