BOTH the Congress and the JD(S) appeared to brush aside their campaign bitterness to try and deny power to the BJP. Sorting out their chemistry may be easier said than done but it’s their political arithmetic that’s of serious electoral consequence to the BJP.
A pooling of the votes secured by the Congress and JD(S) (and its pre-alliance partner BSP) suggests that the BJP could have been reduced to merely 68 Assembly seats if both these rivals had come together before the elections. And the coalition would have got 156.
Given how this post-poll alliance between the Congress and JD(S) is likely to continue to the next Lok Sabha elections in 2019, a pooling of the Assemblywise votes secured by these two parties will be a formidable electoral combination. Express Data | Result map (EC Data) | This is how Karnataka has voted since 1978
An analysis by The Indian Express of data from today’s results shows that pooling of Congress and JD(S) votes in each Assembly segment corresponding to respective Lok Sabha seats translates into the BJP winning only six of 28 Lok Sabha seats. This is a massive drop for the BJP from its tally of 17 in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
These six Lok Sabha seats that BJP is projected to win include Bagalkote, Haveri, Dharwad, Udupi-Chikamagalur, Dakshina Kannada and Bangalore South – in the coastal (2 seats), Bengaluru (one seat) and Mumbai Karnataka (3 seats) regions. The BJP appears winning not a single Lok Sabha seats in Hyderabad-Karnataka and South-Karnataka regions.
On the basis of pooled votes from 2018 Assembly elections, the Congress-JD(S) appear to win as many as 22 Lok Sabha seats — double of what they won contesting separately in 2014.
In fact, the situation in Karnataka appears similar to that in Uttar Pradesh where the two entrenched parties in the state – SP and BSP – ignored the enormity of BJP’s 2014 Lok Sabha victory in the state and contested separately. Likewise, the Congress and JD(S) ignored BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah and contested the Assembly elections separately. Result, the BJP has emerged as the single largest party close to the majority mark forcing both these rivals to set aside their bitterness to try and keep the BJP out of power.
Since no two elections are the same, the projection from one election to the other is merely a guide to the shape of the contest and cannot replace the context and nature of the actual contests. These estimates, therefore, provide a sense of the political challenge but are not reflective of the actual polls that will follow. Whether electoral arithmetic is translated on the ground depends on a range of factors including how cadres of two political parties work together and the response of their support bases.