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Apr 15, 2013 at 07:32pm IST

Corruption during the BJP regime was extraordinary: MV Rajeev Gowda

Karnataka goes for Assembly elections on May 5. Professor of Economics & Social Sciences at IIM Bangalore MV Rajeev Gowda joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.

Q. I feel Congress will win 132 seats and JDS will come second .Do you agrees Asked by: shafivullah

Corruption during the BJP regime was extraordinary: MV Rajeev Gowda

Professor MV Rajeev Gowda joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the Karnataka Assembly elections.

A. Your Congress prediction seems accurate. Second place will likely be shared by the BJP and JDS, with the BJP ahead by 10-20 seats.

Q. There are too many CM contenders in Congress. Siddharamaiah, Krishna, Kharge, Dk shiva Kumar. Who will be made CM? Asked by: shafivullah

A. Congress has no shortage of leadership talent. This time it looks like it will be the turn of a new set: Siddaramaiah, Parameshwar, Kharge are all leading contenders. Ultimately depends on who the Congress High Command sees as the best choice to lead the state, given there is also an important Lok Sabha election coming up.

Q. Why is Anathakumar not active in state politics but having prominence at national level in the party? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. Ananth Kumar got some early breaks and was elected to parliament by the time he was 40 years old. He then became close to Advani and was made a cabinet minister, general secretary, etc. So he has tremendous national prominence. He does play an active role in the state BJP, but here the leadership was in the hands of Yeddyurappa and the vote bank for the party was the Lingayat community. So Ananth Kumar's ability to be a mass leader at the state level has partly been limited because he is a Brahmin, a caste that is not numerically large (even though it has produced two CMs, Gundu Rao and Ramakrishna Hegde). Don't count Ananth Kumar out. Yeddyurappa has alleged that his ouster from the BJP was engineered by Ananth Kumar.

Q. Why is Congress afraid of naming CM canidate.How to trust a party which doesnt even name its leader.Even divided BJP has named CM candidate Asked by: samar

A. Ours is not a presidential system where everything centres around one individual leader. While Congress has had good results when it has named its CM candidate (e.g., Sheila Dikshit), it has also experienced defeat when it has done so (e.g., Amrinder Singh in Punjab recently). Hence the party may have decided to get people to vote for it rather than for an individual leader. So you should trust its core agenda, track record, ideology and vote with the confidence that any of its top leaders should be able to rise to the challenge of leading the state.

Q. I pray that a single party must get the majority other wise coalition partners will be putting all their efforts to collect money for themselves and for the party to meet the expenses of the next election? Asked by: prathap

A. Recent elections, e.g., UP, are showing a simple majority for the winner, even in fragmented political spaces. So there's a good chance that the Congress will come in with a decent majority and we won't be subject to the games involved in wooing independents, defectors and coalition partners. That will help improve governance in the state.

Q. Will the Cauvery issue be an issue at the Political campaign of the national parties. Will they take an anti -Tamilnadu stand ? If they do so how will they weigh their chances in TN for their party at the following LS elections Asked by: sundar1950in

A. This is an extremely sensitive issue for Karnataka but many leaders believe that its impact is felt only in the Mandya region and that the issue does not resonate all over the state. So it is unlikely that they will whip up linguistic sentiments on this issue.

Q. Is KJP going to play the role of king maker if there is hung assebly.. Asked by: Rajnish

A. That is KJP's aim. However, I do not expect it to do that well. 10-20 seats, perhaps. (Hard to make predictions until all parties have declared candidates). But Congress is likely to get a majority so this result will only the KJP to stay alive and not much more.

Q. BJP had lost its plot due to curruption or infighting in the party.. Asked by: Ramesh

A. Yes. Corruption during the BJP regime was extraordinary. So was the infighting. It was sad to see how the BJP repaid the people of Karnataka for their votes.

Q. Is Congress selling tickets for crores and what is sonia response to High Court notice? Asked by: chinmay

A. These sorts of allegations surface at election time. Many candidates who have no worthwhile track record but lots of money try to buy seats. The High Court notice is a different issue. The Congress charges 10,000 for an official candidate application. The Court is questioning this practice. The counter argument is that this ensures only serious candidates apply and also that there is a lot of cost involved in processing applications and this can be covered through this method. It's an internal party matter, as the Election Commission says.

Q. Can you identify one politician not tainted I will happy to support him? Asked by: prathap

A. Me! Thank you for your support!

Q. What is the best practice people follow to enter into Politics in South: Becoming an Actor, or Opening a Medical or Private Institute? Asked by: pc

A. I'm looking for this "best practice" myself. Essentially parties and voters focus on winnability. That comes from different kinds of power: caste power, charisma power, track record power, etc. Also politics today seems to require significant funds to keep mobilization going. So it helps to have a solid source of income (e.g., educational institutions) and it helps to have some other winnable features too. But the most important factor seems to be LUCK! If you get a break, then things could work out spectacularly.

Q. Will the voters have different view on the central govt and state govt Asked by: TCO

A. Karnataka has a track record of voting differently for the assembly and parliament. And for electing governments from parties opposite to the one at the centre. This time, when it elects the Congress, it will see the same party at the centre and state, at least till the next general election. And hopefully thereafter, since it would be good for the state to ensure projects and funds from the centre keep coming at the pace they should.

Q. Is there any chance of BJP coming back to power? or is a post poll alliance with mr karunanidhi possible to come back to power. Asked by: TCO

A. No chance of BJP coming back to power in Karnataka. Why do you bring up DMK when we're on the state election topic?

Q. Do you think BJP has even slightest o chance to win this poll.. Asked by: Rohit

A. No!

Q. Sir Cong going to get negative votes of BJP or based on their performance? Asked by: Hari

A. Congress has ruled Karnataka for decades and much of the state's progress (e.g., land reforms) have come from Congress CMs (SM Krishna's leadership and its role in Bangalore's emergence as a globally impactful city is fondly remembered). So there's a track-record-based rationale for backing the Congress. Along with that, disgust at BJP's misrule will also lead people to support the Congress.

Q. Which are the recent national level events likely to have an impact on the voter's mind at KK assembly elections? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. None that I can think of. This seems more a state-level poll, with no major issues (other than BJP infighting and corruption) dominating ... it's really a set of local candidate faceoffs, with some pro-Congress, anti-BJP wave determining the outcome, in the midst of a very fractured political landscape.

Q. Will the problems in center have an effect on the voters. is the modi factor goin to count Asked by: TCO

A. I do not expect Modi to be able to sway any voters in Karnataka during this election. News reports indicate that he knows that too and may not step in much, so he can avoid being tainted by the BJP defeat. A real leader would step in and take on a challenge like this but ...

Q. If BJP comes to 2nd potion leaving behind JD(S)..this will be great achivement by them..I dont think BJP is going to get more than 40 seats..whts your say.. Asked by: Rakka

A. I think you are on target.

Q. What are all the factors going to affect BJP vote banks Asked by: Hari

A. The Lingayat vote bank played a huge role in the BJP's victory. Essentially the community (which has historically produced many CMs) felt that Yeddyurappa was its best chance to regain the CM's gaddi and so it rallied behind him in a big way. Many sections of that community still support Yeddyurappa, even though BJP is projecting Shettar, another Lingayat. So the split in the Lingayat vote bank of the BJP will affect it significantly.

Q. Recent reports from ground level say entire Muslim vote going towards JDS. Is it correct? Asked by: zameer

A. I don't think so. The Muslim community in Karnataka has a long track record of supporting the Congress and this will continue. But in some areas, the JDS has eaten into this support base, as seemed to be the case with the urban local body results.

Q. Congress resurgence is media creation.JDS is gaining ground in south and among minorities and yeddy is gaining in hyderabad karnataka.JDS will win 80 seats do you agree? Asked by: doddegowda

A. No. The urban local body results should be an indicator to you that the Congress is still far ahead of the other parties.

Q. What will be the order of the political parties.Who will be first,second and third? Asked by: susanne

A. Congress, BJP, JDS, KJP, BSR

Q. If Congress is short of majority by 10 seats will it align with Yeddyurappa? Asked by: bhuvan

A. Congress will have multiple options at that time. I only hope that it does not do something like "Operation Kamala" that the BJP innovated ... that was a deep blow to democratic functioning and the anti-defection legislation.

Q. How many seats Congress is expecting and how many seats will yeddy and JDS win you think? Asked by: shiva

A. Still too early to predict, given that the candidate lineup is not fully known. But you could get away by betting on Congress (115-130), BJP (40-45), JDS (30-35), KJP (15-20), BSR (3-8). Let's see how things develop.

Q. Wil the result of assembly pol reflect the mood of the voters for 2013 LS..Last LS gave BJP 19 seats for karnataka..f BJO eyeing for delhi they should repeat thier last performnce in the state..else it is diifcult..what's your take.. Asked by: Jivan

A. Sadly for the BJP, their numbers in the Lok Sabha from Karnataka will dramatically decline. They will get single digits in 2014 from Karnataka, down from the 19 they got in 2009.

Q. Will Congress sit in opposition if it got 100 or less seats? Asked by: chinmay

A. There is a norm that the single largest party is invited to form the government. So doubt this would happen.

Q. BJP might loose this state election but not as badly as expected by many. Also you can't rule them out from contest in Lok shabha elections as country is lead by congress miserably as the case with BJP in state. Whats your take? Asked by: anil

A. It's not clear that the Lok Sabha election these days is a "national" election or a series of "state" elections. If the latter, then BJP will be trounced, just as people expect in the forthcoming assembly poll.

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