ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Sandeep Shastri

BJP’s Southern Comfort

Karnataka was the only state in South India where the Bharatiya Janata Party was able to record an impressive victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. This article examines the reasons for theBJP’s success and the failure of the Congress–Janata Dal (Secular) alliance to transform an anticipated dividend from electoral arithmetic. Caste calculus and ground-level chemistry had clearly adversely impacted on the Congress–JD(S) alliance and led to theBJP recording its best ever victory in the state.

Karnataka: A Default Win for the BJP

The Bharatiya Janata Party's rise in Karnataka politics is a clear reflection of the inability of the Congress to present a credible alternative and the incapacity of the Janata Dal (Secular) to garner state-wide support. The BJP's win, despite bucking a national trend, masks the relative disapproval of its governance in the state.

Leadership at the State Level Mattered

A post-poll survey of the National Election Study 2009 reveals that no single national leader managed to either catch the imagination of more than 20% of the respondents or drive voting preferences in the Lok Sabha election of 2009. The limited impact of the leadership factor in this election was not only seen in the lower intensity with which party supporters backed their projected leaders, but also in the perception of those who supported the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party alliances. This points to the states and the leadership therein as crucial factors that determined the poll outcome. Data shows the issues that define and determine voter choice even in a parliamentary election are those relevant and specific to a particular state.

Karnataka: The Lotus Blooms...Nearly

The Bharatiya Janata Party pulled off an impressive win in Karnataka in the May 2008 election though in the initial outcome it was two short of a majority in the assembly. The party was helped to its first triumph in south India by nonstop squabbling in the Congress among its many leaders and an erosion in the support base of the Janata Dal (Secular).