A win in Karnataka means a lot for the BJP — not just as an open gateway to the south, where it has so far been unable to come up as a formidable electoral force. The victory – which is almost in its reach with party is leading in 106 of the 222 seats – a giant leap towards the 2019 success.
The re-emergence of the BJP in Karnataka – after 2008 when it formed the government with 110 seats and later secured majority by splitting the JD (S) – has increased BJP’s winnability in the southern states and enhanced its acceptability among the regional parties in the south. Follow LIVE Update
At the outset, victory will boost the BJP’s confidence ahead of 2019 election for returning to power breaking the “myth” that the party cannot return to power at the centre. Its prospects have been brightened as its theme Congress-mukt Bharat has come true; well, almost. Like Prime Minister Narendra Modi quipped, the Congress has now became a “ PP” party – Punjab and Puducherry (Modi had one more ‘P’for Parivar referring to Congress’first family Gandhis ).
This gives BJP confidence that its well-planned strategies are effective and it also re-affirms that Prime Minister Modi’s popularity and charisma – on which the party would be banking on heavily – are intact for 2019 also. Karnataka demonstrated that the party, with its meticulous strategies and Modi, can win seats outside its traditional support base.
The results in Karnataka could make its allies like Shiv Sena and SAD who have been blowing hot and cold over their ties with the BJP in the NDA and erstwhile allies like TDP reconsider their stance with the BJP. In Andhra Pradesh, where the BJP is set to go alone, the BJP may have to choose between the TDP and YSRCP as both could review their approach to the centre ruling party. For the BJP, corruption charges or image as corrupt leadership, may not come as a hindrance to consider an alliance with the YSRCP as the party’s move to promote Reddy brothers and Yeddyurappa – both did not have clear images – did not back fire.
In Telangana, the situation can be conducive for the BJP. It can ally with the TRS, which may like to keep its relationship with the BJP, or come up as the alternative in the event of Congress getting further weakened post Karnataka results.
BJP’s performance will end those speculations and break those spell of a perceived anti-incumbency against the Narendra Modi government in the upcoming state elections. The perception that the BJP was losing momentum was created after its poor performance in the by elections and intensifying crisis among the farming community and the rural sector. Although the party is facing a fierce fight from the Congress state unit in Rajasthan, the party could get an upper hand in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. All the three states are going to vote later this year.