Can JDS-BSP alliance spoil BJP and Congress chances in Karnataka?

  • To bolster its prospects, JDS has entered into an alliance with Mayawati’s BSP. Party is eyeing 36 reserved seats for Scheduled Caste category.
  • JD(S) had won 10 of these in 2013 state elections. In 6 seats it finished runner up. Out of this in 3 seats it lost by less than 700 votes.
  • Overall it lost 14 seats by margin of less than 5,000 votes where BSP support can make a difference, party strategists feel.
  • BSP will be contesting 20 seats and JD(S) 204 seats. Dalits (SCs) account for 17% of population and are the largest caste block in the state.
  • JD(S) had received 13% support of the community in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Dalits have been traditional supporters of Congress in the state (51% in 2008 elections).
  • BSP usually is able to transfer votes to alliance partners as it has dedicated vote bank. In 1996, BSP and Congress had an alliance for UP assembly polls. While BSP’s tally didn’t increase, Congress won 33 (+5) of the 126-seats it contested.
  • BSP’s best performance in Karnataka was in 2008 elections where it bagged 2.7% vote share. Its influence is in 15-20 odd seats.
  • Gowda is smelling of a hung assembly situation in the state as predicted by C-Voter. Then the 20-25 seats party is expected to win will play a crucial role. In a triangular contest 2%-3% vote share could play a crucial role.
  • It remains to be seen this alliance makes a bigger dent into Dalit vote bank of which party – BJP or Congress.
  • The seats reserved for SC/ST has increased from 35 in 2004 to 51 currently. BJP has won majority of these seats both in 2004 and 2008. However, in 2013, INC won majority of these seats on the back of AHINDA support.



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