Cong-JD (S) coalition govt shaky as BJP sweeps Karnataka

Venkatesh Kannaiah
BJP party workers celebrate in front of Karnataka BJP Headquarter in Malleshwaram, Bengaluru. Express Photo by Manoj Kumar R

The Bharatiya Janata Party is all set to sweep Karnataka with more than 24 seats if trends are to go by. Many big names are likely to bite the dust and some political careers will certainly end.

Of the 28 seats in the state, the Congress is leading in three and JD (S) in one.

Senior Congress leaders who are trailing badly or on the verge of losing are Mallikarjun Kharge, Veerappa Moily and Muniyappa. The veteran of many a battle, former prime minister Deve Gowda was trailing and this could shake up the Congress- JD (s) coalition no end.

His one grandson Prajwal Revanna looks to be winning from Hassan while his other grandson Nikhil is facing an uphill task in fighting Sumalatha Ambareesh. It is a thriller at Mandya with leads so thin, and changing every round that the tension is palpable on social media and on the ground. Prajwal has gained a lead of more than one lakh votes and hence it is a solace for the Deve Gowda family.

Veerappa Moily is trailing by more than one lakh votes in Chikballapur, and former union minister from Kolar, K H Muniyappa is trailing by over 1.5 lakh votes in a Congress stronghold.

The resistance to the BJP sweep is coming from only a few pockets from the state. Congress leader Dhruvanarayana from Chamarajnagar is putting up a good fight against Srinivas Prasad of the BJP, while a surprise resistance to the BJP is coming from Bangalore Central where Rizwan Arshad of the Congress is leading against P C Mohan of the BJP. This is also where actor Prakash Raj was expected to put up a good fight but is losing badly. D K Suresh, brother of Karnataka minister D K Shivakumar is leading by more than one lakh votes in Bangalore rural and is looking like the only bright spot for the Congress party in Karnataka.

BJP is winning by huge margins in constituencies like Bangalore South, Uttara Kannada, Udipi-Chickmagalur, Dakshina Kannada. In Shivamogga, Yeddyurappa’s son, Raghavendra is leading by more than one lakh votes. Controversial union minister Ananthkumar Hegde was leading by more than three lakh votes and this is the case in the whole of the coastal belt – with a huge VHP presence. In Bijapur, Ramesh Jigajinagi of the BJP is winning by more than two lakh votes. In Dakshina Kannada, Nalin Kumar Kateel is leading by more than 1.9 lakh votes.

Most exit polls have said that the Cong – JD (S) were doing poorly in Karnataka and hence the results have not come as a total shock. But the range of the victory for the BJP is a bit unnerving for the coalition.

Even before the results, Roshan Baig a seven time MLA from the city, blamed the Congress leadership for the poor show, and said the exit polls were not a shock to him. He also said that minorities had been neglected in the congress, and they should look at new pastures.

Add to this there are disgruntled Cong MLA’s who want their pound of flesh. There are many in Karnataka who can change political colours at the drop of a hat, and there are political families with an MLA in each of the different parties.

The question is how long can Kumaraswamy survive in Karnataka with these results. Not for long.