The numbers game in Karnataka has settled with the announcement of the results on Tuesday but uncertainty still prevails over which party gets the first opportunity to form the government, all thanks to the fractured mandate delivered by the state’s 4.97-crore-strong electorate. Congress, the second largest party, has already made it clear that it will extend unconditional support to the JD(S) of former prime minister HD Dewe Gowda to form the next government.
Amid the string of allegations and counter-allegations of the BJP trying to poach Congress and JD(S) MLAs flying thick and fast comes an anecdote that is as hilarious for its irony as it is for sheer coincidence. The Congress party is aligning with a party whose candidate, also named Devegowda, beat incumbent Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Chamundeshwari constituency which falls in the latter’s home turf Mysuru.
In Chamundeshwari, JD(S) veteran GD Devegowda defeated Siddaramaiah by a whopping margin of 36,042 votes. According to the EC data, a total of 1,21,325 electorates voted for the incumbent JD(S) leader Gowda against 85,283 votes for Siddaramaiah.
In the previous elections, Devegowda had won from the seat by a margin of 7,103 votes. Siddarmaiah was confident that he will win from here and Badami as well. But in Badami also, Siddaramaiah was left red-faced when the results were declared. The EC data show that he emerged victorious in Badami by a slim margin of 1696 votes.
Siddaramaiah had in 2013 successfully contested from Varuna constituency. But this time, he decided to change his seat and entered the fray from Chamundeshwari which was once his stronghold. Siddaramaiah had in past represented Chamundeshwari seat five times in the state Assembly.
The results in both the constituencies have one thing common, i.e., people of Karnataka were unhappy with Siddaramaiah and the tactics resorted by his government to appease a certain section of the society. This is also evident from the fact that the total number of Congress MLAs has reduced to 78 this time from 122 in 2013, displaying the mood of the voters.
The BJP, which had won only just 40 seats in 2013, managed to win 104 seats, 9 less than the halfway mark required to form government. The Congress won 78 seats whereas the JD(S)+ won 38. The second and third largest parties — the Congress and JD(S) — have now together come to stake claim to form the government.