New Delhi: The 36 Lok Sabha constituencies going for polls on April 23 -- 14 in Karnataka, two in Goa, and 20 in Kerala -- would mark the conclusion of the election season in South India. In Karnataka, it is a direct tussle between the Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress alliance, which is in power in the state, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
For the 14 seats for which Karnataka is going to polls, 10 were held by BJP in 2014 elections. However, the pre-poll alliance between JD(S) and Congress and the recent political developments across the state are set to upend the previous results. The Congress has fielded 11 candidates and JD(S) three as part of their pact.
The 14 constituencies, which are largely located in North Karnataka, are Chikkodi, Belgaum, Bagalkot, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Raichur, Bidar, Koppal, Bellary, Haveri, Dharwad, Uttara Kannada, Davangere and Shimoga.
Analysis and projection from the 2018 Assembly results, done by NewsClick’s data analytics team, show that the JD(S)-Congress alliance is likely to win in 10 out of the 14 seats and BJP is likely to retain four.
Considering a possibility of a swing of 2% towards the alliance, the BJP will be able to win in only one seat leaving the remaining 13 for the United Progressive Alliance.
Using data tools developed by Newsclick’s analytics team, swing factors for each state were calculated based on a detailed study of alliances, political trends validated by ground reports and performance of various parties in the last Assembly elections held after 2014.
The swing used to capture the political mood in Karnataka was 2%. A common factor considered in calculating the swings across state is the discontent evident against the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, especially its failure to tackle unemployment, giving meaningful relief to farmers suffering from crashing crop prices and its brazenly communal politics.
Analysts are arguing that elections in these constituencies will be the first direct fight between BJP and Congress in the ongoing general elections. However, local factors seem to have taken over the ground there.
While BJP’s campaign relied on projecting the JD(S)-Congress as a weaker one, the ruling alliance reciprocated equally by roping in many tall leaders of both the parties together in almost all the constituencies. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu campaigned for the UPA candidate Rajashekar Hitnal in Koppal Constituency along with Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy and Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Hitnal is pitted against the BJP’s Sanganna Karadi.
In the recent bypolls, JD(S) and Congress have worked together significantly to prevent vote split and has emerged victorious. In the November 2018, the Ballari Lok Sabha bypolls, Congress candidate VS Ugrappa won over BJP’s J Shantha by 385,000 votes. Before that, BJP had held the ST constituency for 14 years. While Ugrappa retained Congress candidate for these elections, BJP fielded Y Devendrappa, who was once a Congress leader.
In last November’s Shimoga bypolls, which was necessitated after BJP’s state president BS Yeddyurappa vacated it in favour of the Assembly, his son BY Raghavendra, won against Madhu Bangarappa of the JD(S), by a margin of over 45,000 votes, which was significantly less than Yeddyurappa’s margin of over 350,000 votes in 2014. In this elections, BJP’s Raghavendra is again pitted against Bangarappa.
The results will be declared on May 23.
[Data analysis by Peeyush Sharma and mapping by Glenissa Pereira]