Will there be a single party rule in Karnataka? Eminent social scientist and analyst Dr Sandeep Shastri joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.
Q. Why have the political parties lost the way in Karnataka in terms of corruption, they seem to be hell bent in outbidding each other. Asked by: Kalia
A. Kalia, this is not just true in Karnataka.... it seems to be nation wide malaise. The five year BJP government is having to defend itself on its record.... other parties are being asked to account for their past record.
Q. Will KJP & BSR eat away only BJP votes or is there any chance that may take away Congress & JD(S) votes as well? Asked by: Gowtham
A. It is more likely that they will eat into the BJP votes Gowtham. They may not eat into JD(S) and Congress votes as much as that of the BJP
Q. Isn't it true that the BJP govt had infact done some development work, but failed to reach out to the public due to its infighting? Asked by: Ajay
A. Ajay, many supporters of the BJP would have us believe that the government has done work on the ground. Even if that is true, it seems overshadowed by the infighting and absence of a focus on governance.
Q. Will the Congress go with a Leader, like they did in HP, in Karnataka? Wouldn't that help them? Would their misrule in the Center impact their prospects? Asked by: Narayan
A. Narayan, this is a tough one. If I were planning Congress strategy I would surely go with a leadership 'face'. I say this for several reasons. In the Congress style of functioning, once a leader is announced, the party closes ranks and rallies behind that leader. If it is not announced, what happens is that each prospective leader undercuts the other in the hope of improving his/her chances of leadership after the elections.
Q. Will Karnataka be a defining state for the BJP's ambitions in New Delhi. Without Karnataka, it may not win any state in the South. This can impact their prospects at the center. Your Views pls. Asked by: Narayan
A. Narayan, the BJP thought Karnataka was its gateway to the South... with the gateway apparently collapsing, the dream of spreading in the South seems distant. For the 2014 LS poll the party strategist realise that Karnataka may not deliver like it did last time.
Q. Any chances for BJP? What are the chances for a single party rule in Karnataka? Asked by: Jayanth
A. Jayant, if the Congress were to gets it act together, choose the right candidates, plan a positive campaign, the chance of getting a majority in the present scenario seems eminently possible. The big question is can they achieve that.
Q. It would not be possible for any party get an absolute majority in Karnataka. congress would emerge as the single largest party and JD (S) would support it. I think that this would be a tonic for corruption as Deve gowda and party would go whole hog in making quick bucks not that the Congress be far behind. But is there any other option (TINA). What is your take on this? Asked by: AKS
A. AKS, an absolute majority is a 2/3 majority and I think that is way off anyones expectations. What parties are aiming for is a simple majority ( 50 percent +1). If the Congress, gets its act together, chooses right candidates and provides a positive agenda it can work towards a majority. If it is going to bank only on anti-establishment it could find itself short of a majority.
Q. How will the performance of Congress and BJP impact the prospects of thier respective parties at the national level? Asked by: Manisha and Reetika
A. Manisha / Reetika for both the Congress and the BJP, the State poll is critical. The Congress would want to come to power in Karnataka and then hope that in the LS poll they can build on the state assembly performance. If they have a Congress govt in the state it would work to their advantage as the one - year' honeymoon with the voter would not yet be over. For the BJP, they are keen to salvage what little they can. Do not rule out a realignment after the state poll.
Q. Will it be a Congress government or a fractured mandate once again? Asked by: Anuj
A. That fully depends Anuj on how the Congress pitches its campaign, selects its candidates and puts up a united front. If the campaign were negative ( only critical of government), choice of candidates show yielding to pressure of lobbies, and if each leader pulls in a different direction, an assembly with no clear majority is a distinct possibility.
Q. Even if the Congress performs well in Karnataka, can it give a stable Government? The party has no mass leader and leaders like Moily and SM Krishna are not cut out for the heat and dust of hardcore politics. Asked by: Sriharsha V
A. Sriharsha, this is something national parties need to realize. High Command appointed leaders will not be able to deliver in terms of ensure a connect with the people.
Q. What is in store for Yedyurappa in this election? Will he have any role to play in Karnataka? Asked by: Suhas M
A. Suhas this is a tough one! It is important to note what was BSY's ambition in forming KJP. I think two fold. One. to show the BJP (esp its national leadership and those he felt had been responsible for letting him down in the state) that they would not be a viable force without him. Secondly to be a king maker. To hope that no party gets a majority and then his KJP would have enough numbers to tilt the balance. The first he seems likely to partially achieve, the second seems a distant dream.
Q. Why do you think Congress won massively in the municipal polls despite the party being tainted by corruption, inflation etc. on all levels? Asked by: Shashank
A. The local body polls is on a different set of locally relevant issues. Also the taint of corruption, inflation and the like would see the state govt being targeted and not the centre.
Q. Will the KJP emerge as Kingmaker after the elections? Asked by: SBP
A. SBP whats your guess! My expectation is that it is not likely. Even if a party falls short of majority there will be independents to help it form the government
Q. Corruption looks to plague both BJP and Congress, Leadership issue also a problem for both the party's. Though congress looks to gain from anti-incumbancy initially, is this a decider for congress to get majority ? Asked by: Suhas M
A. Suhas the Congress would be making a huge miscalculation if they rely only on anti-incumbency. Anti-incumbency could also benefit the JDS. They need to make a positive pitch and seek votes on a positive plank and not merely hope to cash in on anti-incumbency.
Q. Is Yeddiyurappa, playing into the hands of Congress to destroy BJP,s chances? How come a person like him in BJP for decades can spoil the party (just for selfish reasons)? Whats your opinion? Asked by: Ramanathan
A. Ramanathan, as I have mentioned, BSY is keen to show that without him, the BJP would face serious challenges of retaining its position as the ruling party. This may surely help the Congress but then BSY would have achieved his aim. They say in politics there are no permanent friends and enemies. So BSY's anger against the BJP leadership is so intense that there is no hesitation in brining down the BJP at any cost or by paying any price
Q. Does Karnataka need a strong regional party ? People are equally feedup with Congress as well as BJP ? JDs is a family party and other two party are just ego driven experiments ? Asked by: Suhas M
A. Suhas, the Congress, JDS and BJP are alternatives in the state. The political space for a regional party seems very limnited at this stage
Q. Last week, there was a meeting between Shettar and Sriramulu in a resort..Any tie-up possible? What transpired in this meeting Asked by: Gowda...Toronto
A. Gowda, your guess is as good as mine!! I too have read and heard about the possibilities of a BSR - BJP patch up. This is edpecially after the local body elections when the BSR Congress realized that their presence was only helping the Congress to conslidate in Bellary and neighbouring regions
Q. Is there any chance for the BJP to make a comeback considering they will be forced to project new faces in many constituencies and also any impact of Narendra Modi in Karnataka considering the state has a tilt towards his ideologies? Asked by: Chetan
A. Chetan it would require a huge huge effort..... Remember new faces will be in constituencies where either they are weak or would have formidable rivals in the form of former BJP MLA's now aligned with KJP or independents.... that may be a tough task. Narendra Modi's impact in Karnataka may be minimal and I am not sure there is any tilt to his ideology in the state
Q. Do Deve Gowda and sons have any credibility left? Asked by: Sangamesh
A. Given the parties performance in the Local Body polls, they seem to have pockets of support which they are likely to capitalize on. Some would argue that the party could have done much better if its leadership was more broad based
Q. One Interesting fact to note is How the state will vote. the part closer to Andhra, will they be Anti-congress considering what is happening in Andhra, similarly how will the part close to M'Rtra vote? Any idea sir, will the rule in another neighbouring state affect voting preferences Asked by: Narayan
A. If past trends are any indication, I think there would be very limited impact of developments in neighbouring states, Narayan
Q. What will be the probable pre-poll & post-poll alignments? Asked by: Prabhu
A. There is likely to be no prepoll alliance Prabhu. Post poll it depends on who gets how much... If no party gets a clear majroty and depending on the numbers a BJP-JDS or Congress-JDS alliance cannot be ruled out.
Q. I hope the outcome of the elections will be fractured. No party is likely to get any majority. In my opinion Congress 80 BJP 75 and JDS 25 and the remaining others. What do you think ? Asked by: G. Ramadas
A. Ramadas you have left quite a liberal chunk to others.... If no partyt gets a majority, i would also beleive the order will be what you said but may not be the numbers....
Q. Who in your view are the dark horse candidates from Congress ? In congress it is easy elect though Asked by: Suhas M
A. Oh Suhas there is a long list of Congress hopefulls for CMship. I could count more than 20 congress hopefulls and if I list them out some not listed but who see themselves as a possibility would be dissappointed.
Q. Do you see Yeddy going back to BJP? If so, when? After the assembly polls? Asked by: Keerthika
A. Do not rule out anything in politics Keerthika. BSY returning to the BJP is a possibility ... though not before the Assembly polls. A realignment after the polls is a possibility. Remember Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharati or Jaswant Singh.
Q. Is BJP losing its grip on the coastal Karnataka which has been its another bastion to date? Asked by: purohit
A. If Urban local bodies were any indicator, yes.... for two reasons I guess. One the fact that many of its MLA's have served two or more terms and are facing an anti-incumbency and second the infighting in the party and the public dissaproval of some of the incidents in the coastal region in the recent past.
Q. How will the JD(S) fare in the elections? Will they be able to cross a figure of 25? I doubt it. Asked by: Meera Ramaswamy
A. Meera, I see them having the potential to do well especially in its strongholds in Old Mysore and new areas it has made in roads in Hyderabd Karnataka region. Crossing 25 is quite likely.
Q. The irony of Karnataka has been that it always has opposition party in the centre, this time also this curse continues? Why is it happening any views? Asked by: Suhas M
A. Yes since 1985 this is happening Suhas. I am not too sure if it is a curse. It just reflects the fact that the voters in Karnataka have a different way of looking at politics. In fact if the Congress is voted to power in Karnataka, it would be the first time since 1978 that the party voted to power in Karnataka was in power at the Centre.
Q. As a common voter who has been all along anti congress, will you vote congress because BJP has no BSY? Or will you more support BJP as people like yediyurappa have left the party? Asked by: Mavalli Satya
A. Tough one Satya!!! If one is tradionally anti-Congress the choice clearly is a BJP without BSY or a JDS with its dynasty or a KJP or BSR trying to make its foray in state politics. Also, I think for a lot of voters the candidate on the ground also matters.
Q. Who is the most popular Vokkaliga leader in Karnataka? Deve Gowda & son, Krisha, R Ashok, Sadananda Gowda or CP Yogeshwar? Asked by: Karan Gowda
A. Karan it may be difficult to say who is the most popular. Deve Gowda and sons do have significant support in the community and this has been tested in past elections. Krishna was projected as a Vokkaliga leader..... Sadananda Gowda as a Vokkaliga face may be a challenge as he does not come from the Vokkaliga heartland. Ashok was given Dy CM to represent the Vokkalias and CPYogeshwar support base seems limited to his constituency.
Q. I believe BJP has a better chance of winning if they remove useless, tainted and non performing MLA and ministers like K S Naidu, Sampangi and defectors who the cadre dislike like Asnotikar and Somanna? Do you agree with my assessment? Asked by: Karan Gowda
A. Not fully Karan, the party came to power after it admitted different sections. Having made those 'compromises' you were able to inch closer to power.
Q. What amount of Impact do recently concluded Civic Polls have in the Assembly and LS polls? Asked by: Ganesh
A. The ULB polls are an indicator of trends in urban areas. I do not see the Assembly polls and surely not the LS polls) being a repeat of the ULN polls.
Q. The BJP will use all its resources including Narendra Modi's Clout and they will put all their CMs as a mighty force in the campaign for Karnataka. Your opinion please Asked by: G. Ramadas
A. Yes they may Ramadas, but will it still help them come back.
Q. Dear Mr Shastri, in one of your answers you said Narendra Modi might have minimal impact, but as far as i know, he has the capacity to polarise votes, so don't you think if he is able to polaris eHindu votes, BJP can win again in Karnataka? Asked by: Rakesh
A. Please remember Rakesh his capacity to polarize has been in Gujarat. Not suer whether Modi himself would like to go back to Hindutva et al. especialy after making clear he is looking at the road to Delhi. Also, in Gujarat itself he used the development matra and not religion.
Q. Is a Kerala 2011 possible in Karnataka, where small parties where completely thrown out and the opposition winning just 4 seats more than the ruling party? Asked by: Adarsh
A. The closeness of the contest is a distinct possibility Adarsh.
Q. Having followed Karnataka politics for the last four decades, I think there will be a hung assembly. Certainly, Congress will not allign with JDS as the latter would claim CM's post which the former may not agree. Therefore, the chances of a repeat of BJP and JDS cannot be ruled out if they cobble the numbers. My prediction is - Congress - 80-90, BJP 60-70, JDS 30-40 and the rest. Asked by: Gururaj
A. Your guess is as good as mine!!!
Q. In my opinion Yeddy and BSR will be finished after the elections. Because you need huge resources to run a party. Not only that, I do not think the RSS Cadres will leave BJP to KJP. What is your opinion? Asked by: G. Ramadas
A. On cadres being with the BJP, I would agree.... but is that enough to retain power... am not sure.
Q. Regarding what you said about others getting 45 to 50 seats. This includes Yeddy 10 and BSR 5 and Independents. What do you think? Asked by: G. Ramadas
A. I think that is too optimistic a number - I mean the total 45-50.
Q. I don't think anybody will get a majority. Because the LPG Cylinder will be a major issue in the election and price rise also. What do you think? Asked by: G. Ramadas
A. As I said earlier, if Congress is able to come up with a well run campaign, choose the right candidates, demonstrate unity they stand a good chance of doing well.
Q. Will BJP Benefit in Karnataka as Lok Sabha polls are round the corner ..as Mr Modi is Expected to be announce PM candidate? Asked by: shivang
A. Not in the assembly polls atleast.
Q. Karnataka is always in disadvantage position since two opposite parties will be ruling in Centre and State.This time too it looks certain,Cong in State and NDA in Centre?What is your take on this. Asked by: SBP
A. Not sure of your second formulation of NDA at the Centre.