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

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KARNATAKA-Assembly Election Portents

KARNATAKA Assembly Election Portents Lalitha Natraj THE date for the Karnataka assembly elections has been fixed for March 5, The future of the Janata party in the state hinges on its performance in these elections. The Lok Sabha elections have produced an all-India wave in favour of the Congress(I) although there are significant exceptions. In Karnataka the Janata party appeared confident of winning ten seats but ultimately ended up with four. In relation to expectations the party had, this seems rather a come down. But in fact this has to be seen against a particular background. In the 1980 elections Janata managed only one seat, Bangalore South ov a margin of just over 2,000 votes. In 1977 it could manage just two. In 1980 Janata received barely 23 per cent of the votes, whereas in the recent elections it has secured nearly 42 per cent. Considering the all-India pattern these should be regarded as impressive gains. There is more to this. Of the pitifully small representation of ten seats for the Janata in the Lok Sabha, Karnataka has contributed four. While ten seats in Parliament hardly justifies for the Janata the nomenclature of a national party the fact that Karnataka, traditionally a Con- gress(I) stronghold, has contributed four out of this ten is significant. Yet another point of interest is that the Janata has recorded an increase in the popular vote even in comparison with the 1983 elections to the state assembly.

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