Although the much-touted Yeddyurappa impact has managed to split the BJP votes in Karnataka, the newly-formed KJP has nothing to cheer about over its performance in polls, notes Vicky Nanjappa.
While B S Yeddyurappa’s Karnataka Janata Paksha bit the dust by winning just six seats in the assembly elections, the results of which were announced Wednesday, the former chief minister is still taking solace out of the fact that he pushed the Bharatiya Janata Party down a great deal by splitting its votes in the favour of Congress.
Let us look at the Yeddyurappa impact that led to BJP’s poll debacle in its sole bastion in southern India. First and foremost all the votes that went to KJP were BJP votes. Yeddyurappa’s sudden shift to a secular figure after breaking away from the BJP has not impressed the minorities or even the SC/STs and OBCs. It is clear that he polled most of the Lingayat votes which originally belonged to the BJP.
The KJP won six seats, but came second in 36 assembly constituencies. All the 36 constituencies in which the KJP bagged the second place are Lingayat-dominated areas.
However, all the 36 constituencies are not the primary strongholds of the BJP which were taken away by Yeddyurappa and the Congress. 23 of these constituencies, most of them in northern Karnataka, were traditional BJP belts and Yeddyurappa has pushed his former party to the third position in these constituencies.
The BJP is now busy analysing the Yeddyurappa impact. They squarely blame him for splitting their votes in nearly 50 constituencies.
Areas like Mangalore and Shimoga were part of the Yeddyurappa menace for the BJP which lost heavily in these belts. In Shimoga and coastal belts the, BJP went down by nearly 15 seats due to infighting and the Yeddyurappa factor.
The revenge may be complete, but Yeddyurappa would do some soul searching regarding the performance of his own party. There is talk about him returning to the BJP, but he does not agree with this.
“There is no question of me returning to the BJP, and remember that party is nothing without me,” he told mediapersons in Bangalore on Thursday.
Yeddyurappa continues to believe that he can build the KJP. However, he must also acknowledge the fact that his role has been more destructive than constructive. He may have split the BJP votes, but failed miserably to defend his loyalists who had come out of the BJP hoping to become MLAs once again.
In all 15 MLAs from the BJP had joined him and ironically all of them bit the dust. At the start of the elections he had said that he would form the government. Leave alone forming a government today, he does not even matter in the formation of the government with six seats.
He had hoped secretly that he would bag at least 20 seats and had this happened he would have been the automatic ally for the Congress which would have formed the government.
Losing the 15 seats proved to be costly and had his magic worked in these constituencies, his number would have been at 21. In those constituencies where his loyalists contested, Yeddyurappa campaigned extensively. However, the voter was not impressed and did not give him the mandate.
Image: B S Yeddyurrapa (right) along with other leaders unveil the KJP flag
Photograph Courtesy: KJP website