The Aam Aadmi Party’s spectacular electoral debut in New Delhi is now creating ripples down south.
Let’s take the case of Bangalore, Karnataka where the Bharatiya Janata Party currently rules all three Lok Sabha constituencies -- North, South and Central
The AAP is confident of replicating its Delhi wave in Bangalore. It feels that the Narendra Modi-wave, which was being spoken about a few months ago, is non-existent in the city today.
While the BJP appears to be confident in the north and central constituencies doubts persist over the fate of Bangalore South, from where BJP’s Ananth Kumar has won four terms now.
Bangalore South has the maximum number of educated persons, many of whom are from the Information Technology vertical.
The BJP was confident of beating the anti-incumbency factor with the Modi wave and retaining this seat. However, party sources tell rediff.com that they are re-strategising since they feel that both the Congress and the AAP are likely to split that vote bank.
The Congress in all probability will field Infosys co-founder and Unique Identification Authority of India chief Nandan Nilekani from Bangalore South.
The AAP though has not revealed its cards yet.
The BJP though is hoping for a repeat of the 2009 elections.
In 2009, Captain G R Gopinath, who set up India's first low cost carrier, Air Deccan, contested and lost the Bangalore South seat. This proved to be a blessing in disguise for the BJP. The Congress had fielded Anand Byregowda who was threatening to eat into BJP’s vote share, especially in the IT belt. However, Capt Gopinath split the votes and the BJP benefited from it.
The AAP is, however, hopeful of a good show.
Prithvi Reddy, a member of the national executive of the party from Bangalore South, told rediff.com, “We have been getting tremendous response from the public and a lot of eminent people have shown keen interest. We have a national executive meeting this weekend and will take a decision on how many seats to fight nationally. Our commitment would be to choose the best. Trust me the AAP will be a formidable force.”
The AAP says that the BJP, which had given itself 110 seats a couple of months back in urban India, today feels that it will win only 60. This has come down after the Delhi verdict. The people have realised that the BJP is only a substitute for the Congress and not an alternate.
The AAP says that the BJP’s internal survey itself answers the question that there is no Modi wave anymore.
“The BJP still resorts to very old calculations and the move to bring back B S Yeddyurappa is an indicator of the same. They are still relying on caste and religion politics and think this will take them through. Trust me, the old calculations regarding religion and caste have been destroyed and those parameters will not make an iota of a difference in the forthcoming elections. The AAP has proven that these parameters do not exist.”
“In Delhi, we fielded a Muslim candidate in areas where the Muslim population was low. We were told that we do not understand politics, but the result suggested otherwise.”
“The Congress, on the other hand, too will find it hard in Karnataka. When Siddaramaiah came to power many thought he was the best suited for the job. Today see what has happened. The induction of D K Shivakumar and Roshan Baig -- both tainted candidates into the ministry -- has not gone down too well with the people. Whatever his compulsions may have been, Siddaramaiah ought to have listened to the wishes of the people.”