Eminent social scientist and analyst Dr Sandeep Shastri joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the Karnataka civic polls.
Q. What will be the impact on next Assembly elections? Asked by: raja
A. Raja, these elections clearly indicate a trend in urban Karnataka. The Congress appears to have done well in the ULB polls with the ruling party in the state - the BJP, having to do a serious introspection. Local body elections have local issues. The Assembly elections will be in a different context. So there elections are an indicator ... just an indicator and not an accurate barometer.
Q. Will these ULB elections decide the course of assembly elections in karnataka? Asked by: RKG
A. RKG it is difficult to say whether the elections will decide the course of the coming elections. Does it indicate a mood? Definitely so in urban Karnataka.
Q. Hi Sir, with the K'taka civic poll result in favour of Cong..is there will be significant impact in the 2014 LS results. Asked by: raj gopal
A. Raj the 2014 Lok Sabha poll is far away... before that we have a state assembly poll. This ULB results will surely have implications for party preparations and strategies for the coming Assembly polls.
Q. Can BJP still come out as the single largest party if they get their act together or its a finished game already? Asked by: Ankit
A. Can the BJP get its act together.... if it was serious about it, the party should have done it by now. Ankit, it looks as if the remaining two months is too short a time to do any meaningful recovery operation and salvage a sinking morale and unimpressive performance record.
Q. Is it going to be an end of BJP rule in Karnataka? Or There is any chance to retain the majority in the coming assembly elections without BSY - the Power Hungry? Asked by: suresh
A. Suresh, all indicators point to it being an uphill task for the BJP to secure a majority an return to power. In the political horizon there seem to be very few indicators to point to that direction.
Q. How do you see the performance of JD(S) and KJP? Asked by: Ankit
A. Ankit, there is a tendency to underestimate the potential of the JD(S). It has strong pockets of support in the Old Mysore region. The Urban Local Body Election Results are indicative of this fact. It is bound to be a close contest between the Congress and the JD(S) in many constituencies in Old Mysore region with the BJP too staking a claim in some seats. As for the KJP, its leaderships statement seem to indicate that its main goal is to get the BJP defeated and prove the fact that in the absence of BSY, the BJP cannot be a force to reckon with. That seems to be the limited political agenda and if it is possible to be a king maker after the next poll, that would be the icing on the political cake for them!
Q. As K'nataka BJP had done a lots of damage while saving Yeddyurappa..it took part of its toll due to him and now he has also broke way from BJP..dont you think the result of these polls are symptoms of what BJP had done to itself on the issue of corruption in K'taka while saving corrupt Yeddyurappa..this was about to come for BJP and will come in big way during 2014 LS polls..what's your say? Asked by: Gauda
A. Corruption has clearly sullied the image of the BJP with or without BSY. That is surely going to impact on the party in the 2013 Assembly poll. Will it have an impact on the 2014 Lok Sabha poll from Karnataka.... too early to say.
Q. Sir, What are the opportunities now available for KJP party other splitting some votes in upcoming assembly poll?. Can KJP made alliance with any other party like Cong or JD(S)? Asked by: Hari
A. Hari as I said in response to an earlier question, the KJP has a limited political agenda: a) to demonstrate to the central leadership of the BJP and some state leaders that you will find the going tough without us (read BSY); b) it would hope for an Assembly with no party securing a clear majority and win a sufficient number of seats that will allow it to play king maker. An alliance with either the JD(S) or Congress before the poll is not likely. After the Assembly elections, it depends on how many seats each party wins.
Q. Can Narendra Modi salvage BJP in the assembly elections if he decides to campaign aggressively in Karnataka? Asked by: Ankit
A. Ankit, to expect Narendra Modi to salvage the reputation of the BJP is to expect an impossible miracle. I am not too sure whether Mr Modi will campaign in Karnataka, knowing that the party may do badly.
Q. Sir, As per this result we can say Congress got negative votes because of anger on BJP or corruption or party internal politics. Asked by: Hari
A. Hari, clearly the Congress is benefiting from the mood against the BJP. The Congress would need to strategise on how it takes forward its campaign, as merely hoping that a negative vote would catapult them to power, could boomerang and leave them with limited options.
Q. Is the BJP-Yeddyurappa fiasco had a major role in these election. Asked by: Srinivas
A. The split in the BJP and its internal struggle has impacted on the parties chances for sure, Srinivas.
Q. How much chance you think the BJP has to save the only south Indian government it has. Asked by: rajesh
A. Very little Rajesh. The writings seems to be clear on the wall.
Q. With just 272( of 2000) seats for KJP. Do you think it is the end of the road BSY? Asked by: CK
A. CK that depends on what was the destination BSY was looking for realistically at the end of the road!! I'd he hoped to show the BJP that without him, there are problems for the party, he has shown that.
Q. Sir, As per the result BJP have main competition from Cong & JD(S) & not from KJP? KJP may divide only BJP votes or some other party votes also? Asked by: Hari
A. Hari, the KJP seems to be basically eating into the BJP vote, which eminently suits both the Congress and the JD(S) and they are able to benefit in a multi-cornered contest.
Q. What are the prospect of KJP in the assembly election..is it going to get significant no of seats by its standards. Asked by: Swamy
A. Looking at current trends, the KJP does not seem to be in a position to make a huge splash and emerge as a key player. At best it could be a 'spoiler'.
Q. How will you rate the performance of Karnataka BJP rule with the other previous governments in the state. Was it too bad rule of BJP in the state. Asked by: Rak Kiran
A. In many ways, the infighting that the ruling BJP has seen, has also plagued earlier ruling parties in Karnataka: the Congress (1999-2004) and the Janata Dal (1994-99). Voters have never taken kindly to infighting especially in the ruling party as they expect you to govern rather than spend time settling internal battles. On the question of corruption, there have been charges of corruption against previous governments too... However this time around, it look as if too much was tried in too short a time and without the finesse that past leaders had shown.
Q. Don't you think if BJP would have dealt with Yeddyurappa as early as possible by removing him from part would have strengthened the part in the state..BSY anyway went out of it,doing more damage than it would have done before..the then BJP President Mr Gadgari had failed to do much good for the K'nataka BJP. Asked by: Rama
A. Rama this view has been echoed by Mr Advani too. Given the central role that BSY had played in bringing the BJP to power, am not too sure if that was something the BJP could have done easily.
Q. Can Narendra Modi convince Yeddyurappa to join BJP or at least have an alliance with BJP as he share good rapo with Yeddyurappa. Asked by: rajesh
A. Anything is possible in politics, Rajesh. Even if that were to happen, it would not be before the Assembly polls. Many are talking of this as a possibility after the Assembly polls and before Lok Sabha polls.
Q. Why JD(S) was not able to do well in civic polls..Congress walked away with everything. Asked by: Gauda
A. Gauda, I am not sure that the JD(S) did too badly. It has won in critical pockets in Old Mysore. The Congress seems to have been the main beneficiary of anti-incumbency though.
Q. Dear Sir, Going by the results of local body elections do you think Congress will get clear majority in assembly elections or do you think BJP can recover little bit in 2 months and deny a simple majority to congress?? Who is the most probable CM from congress? Asked by: Keshava Prasad
A. Keshava those are tough questions and many of them at one go. Let me take them one by one.... As things stand today, it looks clear that the Congress will emerge as the party with the largest seats in Karnataka. Will that be well above the half way mark, just above the half way mark or short of the half way mark depends on a number of factors : its choice of candidates, the unity in its campaign, congress leaders not undercutting one another. I have always believed that no one defeats the Congress in Karnataka except the Congress itself!! Who will be their CM candidate? There are many suitors waiting in line..... It depends on how many seats it gets and mostly from which region and of course the nod of the High Command of the party.
Q. Going by the numbers it seems JD(S)has lost more than the BJP... why is that so. Can you read anything from the lingayat mood from the results? Asked by: Shashi
A. Shashi, this is basically urban Karnataka. The JD(S) was a distant third in the 2008 Assembly polls. Since then it has recovered quite a bit. Most of the KJP victories have been in North Karnataka the stronghold of the Lingayat community. It may be difficult to expect the KJP to swing the Lingayat vote in it favour. Remember that in 2008 if the Lingayat vote went to the BJP it was because it was the only party to project a credible Chief Ministerial candidate from that community. Indications are that the KJP cannot make a bid for power on its own so that advantage is lost to the KJP.
Q. Sir, If BJP can change its way to approach people & come out with new development project for Upcoming polls may got some seats? If this Cong victory may initiate BJP to Unite and fight hard for upcoming elections? Asked by: Hari
A. Hari, that would be a step too late in the day to expect voters to be convinced and anyways there is little time to show on the ground that the fruits of development are actually reaching the people. That should have been planned from the time they came to power.
Q. Will congress come back to power in Karnataka Assembly? Asked by: RKG
A. RKG, they seem to be the front runners in the race for sure.
Q. Will Yeddurappa go back and merge KJP with BJP? Asked by: RKG
A. RKG your guess is as good as mine!!! Anything could happen after the Assembly polls. Remember Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharati, Jaswant Singh are returned to the party after having been out for brief spells of time.
Q. Will the civic poll outcomes help Congress to bounce back or is it heading towards fractured mandate? Asked by: RKG
A. The Urban Local Body Poll Results would be a shot in the arm of the Congress but then should not make it complacent. The Congress, JD(S) and BJP will all strategise on how best to move forward from here in the next few months.
Q. So BJP lost the plot in Karnataka. So how did JD-U and Congress fare in the elections? Any signs of anti-incumbency clouding the May elections? Asked by: Karthik
A. Karthik, I am sure you mean the JD(S). The Congress and JD(S) seem to have both benefited from a sense of dissatisfaction with the ruling party. anti-incumbency will be big factor. It would be wrong for the Congress to expect to be able to romp home to power on that one factor. There would need to be a positive glue to cross the majority mark.
Q. Mr Shastri, don't you think though Congress has gained, JD(S)taking that second spot should bother BJP and Congress both? Asked by: Nasir
A. Nasir, the Congress has surely gained. As I said the JD(S) has pockets of influence in Old Mysore and will be a competitor to the Congress in many crucial seats.
Q. At the moment..these civic pols will be huge thing for the congress to target BJP. Asked by: Kaunan
A. Yes Kaunan for sure.
Q. If KJP will emerge as the King maker after assembly polls..will not Yeddyurappa will ask that he will be the CM to whom so ever party he gives support to..after seeing how much power thirsty he is. Asked by: Kaunan
A. He can be king maker in two linked circumstances a) No one gets a clear majority on their own and cannot form government only with independents support b) KJP has enough seats to help a party come to power. To expect him to be king again is too distant a dream at the present stage.
Q. Do you think the assembly polls will be eye opener for both BJP and KJP if both will not perform as per their expectation to come into ally for LS polls. Asked by: Kris
A. Kris, that is part of the world of possibilities in the post Assembly elections phase.
Q. Will KJP and BJP join hands once the local bodies elections are over? Since they are competing against each other, Congress and JDS stands to gain the most. Asked by: EMathew
A. I do not see KJP and BJP joining hands at the moment as the KJP aim is to get the BJP defeated. The KJP sees itself as the 'real' Karnataka Janata Party and thinks the BJP is 'Bharatiya' in sense of controlled by Delhi leaders. Unless that fight is resolved, unity looks a distant dream.
Q. I think internal war in BJP favored congress to win elections. Yeddurappa's impact was very less. Yeddi has done wrong thing coming out from BJP. Asked by: Lakshmikanth Gelli
A. Lakshmikanth you have asked three questions. Internal war in BJP has surely helped the Congress, BSY impact is there in the way the BJP has got sidelined in this poll and BSY saw no future for himself in the BJP and saw an exit as the only option.
Q. Apart form corruption and anti incumbency what other issue does the Congress JD(S) has against BJP. Asked by: Ray
A. These two factors are big election winners Ray. The Congress and JD(S) is also focusing on the fact that the BJP which called itself as a party with a difference brought no difference! The lack of governance at the ground level is also being highlighted besides time wasted and spent on infighting within the party. The poor performance of the BJP in the coastal region also points out to the impact of communal tensions that have been on the surface in the recent past.
Q. The entry of AIMIM what does it mean to Karnataka - they got few seats in Bidar. Asked by: Nisar
A. Their influence, if there will be limited to a few seats in Bidar district where they could tile the balance in favour of or against the main contesting parties.
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