The Final results in Karnataka Assembly election is over bar the shouting. Congress has obtained  a simple majority and can form its own Government without depending on any other party. JDS may be the main opposition and Mr Kumaraswamy may be the leader of opposition. Mr Yeddyurappa and Jagadish Shettar will be present in the assembly but will not be leading even the opposition. Yeddyurappa will be happy that he as defeated BJP and also his arch rival Eshwarappa. With this satisfaction it is time for him to retire from politics.

Congress will have to decide about their Chief Minister and with the defeat of Mr G. Parameshwara and obtaining of a simple majority,  Mr Siddaramaiah should emerge as an undisputed CM candidate. Though many in Congress may not like the development, Mr Siddaramaiah deserves a chance to be the CM since he has the necessary administrative experience and has also been unfairly treated by Congress for a long time.

During the days of rejoicing for Mr Kumaraswamy, the win of Ashok Kheni and defeat of Anita Kumaraswamy would be a sobering influence.

The National TV media has been abuzz with debates from pseudo Karantaka specialists and have been doling out various reasons  for BJP defeat. They were happy that BJP lost miserably though Mr Narendra Modi had visited the State and addressed a few rallies. These anchors and silent Congress supporting experts have come to a conclusion that BJP lost because Modi’s campaign helped in the consolidation of Muslim votes against BJP. Some are discussing that BJP made a mistake in ousting Yeddyurappa and would have fared better if they had accommodated him within the party.

However, as a long time observer of Karnataka politics, I need to place my views on some of the reasons why BJP lost this election. I hope the BJP top brass takes note of these observations and make necessary corrections before the next Loksabha elections.

1. Did Modi was the cause of defeat?

In my opinion, Modi had no adverse influence on the outcome of these elections. In fact had it not been for his Bangalore visit, BJP would have perhaps lost at least two more seats in Bangalore city. I am not aware much about his influence in the Mangalore/Udipi/Belgaum constituencies but losses there should be attributed to “Despite Modi’s presence” rather than “Because fo Modi’s presence”.

I had pointed out in these columns that while the electorate of Karnataka held Mr Modi in high esteem, they felt that this time they were voting for Jagadish Shettar if they had voted for BJP and not for Mr Modi. Hence I had expressed the opinion that he should refuse to campaign. He however made a token appearance obviously under pressure from others in the party.

BJP has not yet confirmed Mr Modi as a PM candidate and therefore he cannot make any promises about what he can do to Karnataka if the voters heed to his appeal. Hence his speech was only a trial run of what the voters expect in the Loksabha elections.

There are many voters who would still vote for Mr Modi as a PM aspirant but not to Jagadish Shettar’s BJP in the local elections.

Media should therefore  once for all stop discussing Modi as a factor of BJP defeat.

2. Would continuance of Yeddyurappa would have helped BJP?

Had BJP faced this election under Yeddyurappa’s leadership then perhaps BJP would be near the present position of KJP. It would have entirely wiped out the party in the State. At the same time it would have also dented BJP image in the national front and weakened BJP even in the next Loksabha elections since it would have removed the “Corruption Plank” from BJP’s armoury.

Even today there are a few in BJP who think Mr Yeddyurappa should be brought back to the party. If they heed to such advice, BJP can very well close its Karnataka office permanently.

3. What is the Real Reason for BJP Defeat?

The real reason for BJP defeat which Mr Rudy termed as “Bad Politics” is that they failed to take timely action against Mr Yeddyurappa and in the process compromised on administration in the post-Yeddyurappa regime.

BJP showed itself to be a weak party unable to take action against Corruption. It allowed KJP supporters to remain in the cabinet until the last days of the assembly only to enable them continue to run offices of profit as long as possible. BJP ought to have dismissed all KJP sympathizers and Mr Yeddyurappa the moment he announced that he would launch his own party and taken time to rebuild the party under the leadership of a new leader. If in the process the assembly had to be dissolved, it would have been able to take a moral high stand and appeal for sympathy of the voters. It would have worked better.

For a few days under Mr D V Sadananda Gowda, BJP appeared to be consolidating for the post-Yeddyurappa regime. But his removal and appointment of Mr Jagadish Shettar was the second mistake that BJP committed. Mr Shettar was happy to be the CM and tried to initially only follow Mr Yeddyurappa’s instructions and eroded the moral authority to govern. He was obsessed with the presentation of budget which was inconsequential and eroded the image of BJP each day he remained in the office. Mr Shettar as CM and his BJP in power was a replica of Dr MMS in Delhi with his Congress and hence whatever UPA Government could be accused off in the national scenario, Congress was able to reflect it on BJP in Karnataka. It was unfortunate that BJP leadership did not recognize this self defeating contradiction in continuing Mr Shettar not only upto the elections and also declare him as the CM candidate if BJP had won.

All those in BJP who masterminded this strategy donot deserve to be in the party’s strategic committee.

Had BJP found a new leader before the election and taken a stand that enough is enough. We have turned a new leaf, Karnataka voters would have forgiven them and at least they would have got another 20-30 seats more.

Had BJP made such change of leadership before the announcement of candidates and asked Mr Modi to take the lead including selection of the CM and the party Candidates and thereafter asked Modi to lead the campaign, then BJP would have perhaps been able to win a majority.

BJP lost this golden opportunity for which the national party leaders are responsible.

What lies in future for BJP in Karnataka?

The option available for BJP in Karnataka now is to rebuild the party under a new leader. Since they donot even have the principle opposition party status, they need to work harder to get the attention of the public.

Amidst all the problems, Mr Suresh Kumar has won his seat from Rajaji Nagar in Bangalore. It is time that he should be made the leader of the party in the assembly and asked to rebuild the party from scratch.  If they consistently play their role as a true opposition, then by the time Loksabha elections arrive, BJP will have a some energy left to face the electorate. At that time if Modi is the PM candidate, we need not be surprised if Karnataka returns upto 20 BJP candidates as MPs.

Hope BJP leaders do an introspection and take bold steps as may be required.

Vijayashankar

Be Sociable, Share!