BJP: Karnataka result indication of triangular contest for state polls | Latest News India -

BJP: Karnataka result indication of triangular contest for state polls | Latest News India

NEW DELHI:Winning three of the four seats in the Rajya Sabha biennial elections from Karnataka is an indication that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could be headed for a triangular contest against the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) in the 2023 assembly election, said party leaders in the state.

A day after the poll were announced, a party leader said the cross-voting by two JD(S) legislators is an indication of souring ties between their party and the Congress, and if the state is headed for a triangular contest, the BJP stands to gain. While one JD(S) legislator voted for the Congress, the other voted for the BJP.

“The BJP did not negotiate with the JD(S) for supporting its third candidate. However, this (cross-voting) shows that the opposition member could sense the growing clout of the BJP in the state and in his region in particular, and chose to pick sides,” a party leader said, seeking anonymity.

JD(S) MLA from Gubbi in Tumkur, SR Srinivas, had voted for the BJP’s third candidate Lehar Singh Siroya. The party is buoyant by the victory of three of its candidates — Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, actor-politician Jaggesh, and Siroya.

The win is also being read as an indication of the current chief minister Basavaraj Bommai being able to steer party matters. A spate of controversies on issues such as wearing the hijab and halal certification of meat that kept the state in the headlines, coupled with dissent in the party unit, had created a perception that the BJP was losing its popularity, a second leader said.

“After the change in leadership (Bommai replaced BS Yeddiyurappa in July 2021) and the tussle in the state unit, with one section pushing for a new state unit president there was concern that the party’s performance in the elections will be dented,” he said, also declining to be named. “The victory has given the cadre a shot of confidence to go all out for the zila and taluka panchayat elections that will be held in the next two months and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) polls later in the year.”

With the Congress and the JD(S) attempting to corner the anti-BJP votes, particularly from the minority community, the BJP is confident of consolidating its own vote bank, he said.

The Aam Aadmi Party throwing its hat in the ring has not set off any alarm. “There will be a few BJP leaders who may join the AAP if they don’t get tickets, but so far, it’s only well-known faces from the Congress such as Brijesh Kalappa and Mukhyamantri Chandru who have shown interest in the AAP,” the second leader said. “The party will dent the Congress and JD(S) in the urban areas, not the BJP.”

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