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Posted at: May 17, 2018, 1:47 AM; last updated: May 17, 2018, 1:47 AM (IST)

Message for ’19: It’s BJP versus the rest

Message for ’19: It’s BJP versus the rest
BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa (C), Ananth Kumar (L) and K Eshwarappa. PTI

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 16

The Karnataka results have a lot to offer for analysts, for example the fact that the Congress got far fewer seats than the BJP despite polling almost 2 per cent extra votes. According to the Election Commission figures, the Congress polled 38 per cent (1.38 crore votes) against BJP’s 36.2 per cent (1.31 crore votes).

But the saffron party managed to win its seats and prospects with a smart strategy that helped the JD(S), which won just 18.3 per cent (66 lakh) votes, lower than its share of 20.2 per cent in 2013, but managed a more effective conversion (of votes to seats). In comparison, the grand old party failed to convert votes into seats effectively with a scattered vote share.

But the saffron party also learnt a key lesson in its failure to achieve the halfway mark in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly.

Apparently, BJP chief Amit Shah, who is now at the drawing board for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections to achieve the goal of “Fir ek baar, Modi sarkar” (Once again, Modi government), is factoring in the possibility of his party versus the rest.

The fact is the BJP gains when votes against it are divided (like in Karnataka) and loses when they get consolidated (like JD-U and RJD fought together in Bihar). Opposition leaders, who re-learnt this crucial lesson in Karnataka, are expected to use it more effectively to contain the saffron run in 2019.


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