Explainer: Trouble in BJP in Karnataka, the only saffron bastion in South India : The Tribune India

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Explainer: Trouble in BJP in Karnataka, the only saffron bastion in South India

Of 131 Lok Sabha seats in South, BJP currently holds 29 seats — 25 in Karnataka, four in Telangana

Explainer: Trouble in BJP in Karnataka, the only saffron bastion in South India

Photo for representation only.

Tribune Web Desk

Vibha Sharma

New Delhi, March 23

As political travails of Arvind Kejriwal and AAP dominate the media space and attention, a bit of political trouble also appears to be brewing in the BJP camp in Karnataka.

Banking heavily on the 131 seats in South India to achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of 370 Lok Sabha seats for the party and 400 plus for NDA in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP seems to be facing some issues in one and only bastion in the South—Karnataka.

Several top leaders in the state are said to be miffed over ticket distribution and are either threatening to quit the BJP or contest as Independents. For the BJP, which is relying on alliance with the JD(S), PM Modi’s popularity and Ram temple at Ayodhya to land it a good score in the state that sends as many as 28 MPs to the Lok Sabha in 2024, this may be troubling.

Karnataka is considered a stronghold of BJP in South India. In 2019, the BJP won as many as 25 of the 28 seats there.

The issues

According to observers, verbal displays of displeasure have lesser potential of causing damage unless someone decides to take some radical step.

Meanwhile, the state unit is trying to pacify tempers.

Denial of ticket to around 10 sitting MPs is the one and only cause of heartburn though according to sources BJP was forced to select new candidates, as in case of Dakshina Kannada and sitting MP Nalin Kumar Kateel to counter anti-incumbency.

Senior leader KS Eshwarappa lashed out after his son KE Kanthesh was denied the Haveri seat, which went to former CM Basavaraj Bommai. Accusing former CM BS Yediyurappa of “cheating” him, he is now threatening to contest from Shivamogga as an Independent against his son BY Raghavendra.

In Udupi-Chikmagalur party workers held protests against the incumbent MP Shobha Karandlaje. She was not renominated from the constituency but given a ticket for the Bangalore North constituency which led to sitting MP Sadanand Gowda dropping hints of jumping ship, though later he claimed that there was no question of joining the Congress or opposing Karandlaje.

A case has also been registered against Karandlaje over her remarks about the Bengaluru Rameshwaram Cafe blast, where she blamed "Tamilians" for coming to Karnataka to plant bombs.

Meanwhile, former national general secretary CT Ravi, who was marginalised after the defeat in the last Assembly elections, is also said to be upset.

“The BJP’s problems increased after it lost to the Congress in the last Assembly elections, it is only natural, though the party is banking on the popularity of PM Modi and the positive atmosphere created by the Ram Temple”, say observers.

Karnataka—BJP’s southern stronghold

Of 131 Lok Sabha seats in South India, BJP currently has 29 seats. Of these, 25 are in Karnataka and four in Telangana.

This time BJP is aiming for at least 50 seats in the South for which the top leadership has prepared an extensive strategy, including playing on PM Modi’s popularity through frequent visits.

In Karnataka the BJP has also allied with JD(S) and seems to have agreed to give it three seats—Hassan, Kolar and Mandya.

About The Author

The Tribune Web Desk brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune Wed Desk for not just breaking news stories but wide-ranging coverage of events.

#Arvind Kejriwal #BJP #Karnataka #Lok Sabha #Telangana

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