Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa is probably the only BJP leader who is not unhappy about the results of Haryana and Maharashtra assembly elections which were announced on Thursday, October 24th, where the BJP led NDA suffered a major setback after its stupendous performance in the recent Lok Sabha elections, says BJP Internal sources.
With counting of votes, a clear picture of the assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana has emerged. The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance has emerged victorious in the state of Maharashtra, while Haryana showed a hung assembly.
Setback for BJP and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra
In Maharashtra, most of the exit polls had predicted CM Devendra Fadnavis to retain the power in Maharashtra. Here the BJP- Shiv Sena coalition proved to be right as exit polls predicted but not with huge majority. BJP on its own has won 105 seats, while the Shiv Sena has bagged 56 seats out of the total 288 seats. The NDA alliance won a total 161 out of 288 seats, where the magic number for the Maharashtra assembly is 145. Independent candidates have managed to win 13 seats. The NCP on its own has managed to win 54, while the Congress has won 44 seats this time.
Earlier, most pollsters predicted a bigger victory for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance. But NDA alliance managed to win only 161 out of 288 seats. It is a major setback for BJP who expected to win more than 150 seats on its own. BJP should think of why their alliance won fewer seats than they managed separately in the last assembly elections, after which they stitched up a post-poll alliance.
Six ministers from the Maharashtra government have lost elections, which is a serious matter for ruling BJP. Again, the loss of Pankaja Munde from Parli shocked the BJP high command.
Interestingly for the Shiv Sena, Aditya Thackeray’s victory from Worli is an encouraging sign. It is the first time someone from the Thackeray family has contested an election, ever since the party was formed in 1966. Shiv Sena which was on backfoot has emerged confident and gained lost ground. It will not make it an easy partnership for BJP.
Big loss for BJP in Haryana
In Haryana, BJP has managed to win 40 seats on its own out of the 90 assembly seats. Congress has won 31. The Jannayak Janata Party has won 10, while Independents have managed to win 7 seats. the INLD has won only 1 seat. The magic number is 46, where both BJP and Congress have not been able to touch on their own. Most exit polls had predicted that the BJP would absolutely decimate the opposition in Haryana. now, things have taken an unexpected turn. A hung assembly emerged where Dushyant Chautala’s JJP emerged as the possible kingmakers.
Results of the by-elections to Assembly seats, held across the country, did not see any party come out on top. Congress-led UPA increased its vote share in 17 states by-elections where BJP led NDA faces huge loss.
Why is Yeddyurappa happy about BJP’s moral defeat?
BJP with its article 370 and hyper-nationalist rhetoric was hoping to have a landslide victory in Maharashtra and Haryana. It didn’t happen. It might succeed in making its government in both states but it cannot deny the fact that BJP lost its vote share in both states. This is going to be a great concern for Amit Shah for the coming elections in other states.
And that is exactly the reason for Yeddyurappa’s temporary relief!
If BJP would have won the Haryana and Maharashtra elections with huge majority, Amit Shah would have wanted to dissolve the Assembly in Karnataka and face the midterm elections.
Naturally, BS Yeddyurappa doesn’t want to lose his position as Karnataka CM again!
He is planning to win majority seats vacated by the disqualified 17 lawmakers to secure his government. If BJP does not fare well in Haryana and Maharashtra elections, then BJP high command might not risk going to midterm elections in Karnataka.
BS Yeddyurappa being sidelined in Karnataka BJP
BS Yeddyurappa is facing bitter rivalry in the state BJP unit. Elevation of BL Santosh as Organising Secretary in the BJP sends a signal for the party expansion in the South and a check on the Yeddyurappa. RSS strongman BL Santosh is the top intermediary between the Sangh and the BJP at the Centre.
While Santosh’s appointment as General Secretary (Organization) in the BJP is significant in terms of the party’s expansion plans in the southern region. His role in Karnataka is largely believed to be related to reducing Yeddyurappa and the Lingayat centrality to the BJP’s political identity. Yeddyurappa’s role was reduced to irrelevance in the recently held Lok Sabha elections with Santosh having the final say in candidate selection.
For instance, in Bangalore South constituency Yeddyurappa, along with his supporters, believed that the late Ananth Kumar’s widow Tejaswini was the natural choice to contest the polls. However, Santosh picked the radical Tejaswi Surya for this prestigious seat. He is believed to be the most effective architect of the BJP’s extraordinary performance in the general election in which the party won 25 of the total 28 Lok Sabha seats in the State.
Santosh, RSS pracharak with a clean image, believes that Yeddyurappa’s association with the mining scams hurts BJP politically. Yeddyurappa also publicly blamed Santosh for encouraging his rivals, especially KS Eshwarappa, who publicly denounced the former CM as ‘dictatorial’.
Recently, The BJP appointed Lok Sabha MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, a staunch Hindutva leader, as the President of its Karnataka unit, in place of BS Yeddyurappa, who is now the Chief Minister of the southern state.
With Yeddyurappa becoming the Karnataka Chief Minister, the saffron party has brought in his replacement in line with its “one person one post” norm.
Now Nalin Kumar Kateel and BL Santosh together are trying to sideline BS Yeddyurappa. They are not considering BS Yeddyurappa’s decision in ticket allocation for Karnataka by-elections. B.L Santhosh is directly opposing the ticket for BSY proposal of giving up tickets for 17 disqualified MLAs for by-polls.