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No BJP state govt. in South India as Karnataka slips away from their grasp

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered a major blow as it lost the Karnataka Assembly elections, leaving the party without a state government in any of the five southern states. Karnataka was the only state in the south where the BJP had managed to form a government on its own, while an alliance that includes BJP is in power in the Union Territory of Puducherry. The party’s electoral machinery and Prime Minister Modi’s popularity failed to secure a victory.

Former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah, commenting on the victory of his party, said: “I had already announced that Prime Minister Modi’s magic won’t work in Karnataka and the Congress party will get more than 120 seats.” He added, “The party won’t require the support of any other political outfit and will form the government on its own.”

The BJP’s presence in the other southern states is relatively small. In Kerala, the party currently has no MLAs, while in Tamil Nadu, four BJP MLAs emerged victorious in alliance with AIADMK after two decades without any seats. In Telangana, the BJP won only one seat in the 2018 election, while in Andhra Pradesh, the party failed to win any seats in the 2019 elections.

With the loss in Karnataka, the impact will be felt in the neighboring states. However, the recent victory of the BJP in two bye-elections in Telangana has given the party some hope. The party has been working aggressively on the ground in Telangana, but the Congress has also stepped up its game with Priyanka Gandhi appointed in charge of the state.

The BJP has been raking up several issues, such as temple desecration and idol vandalism, in Andhra Pradesh, in a bid to portray Jagan Mohan Reddy as an ‘anti-Hindu’ Chief Minister. How much of these efforts will reflect electorally remains to be seen. For now, the BJP’s loss in Karnataka has left the party without a state government in any of the southern states.


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