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Karnataka: Will BJP-JDS alliance defeat Congress in 2024 Lok Sabha Election? A look at arithmetic

The Janata Dal-Secular has long been a third player in Karnataka where the Congress and the BJP have been the two main parties.

Written By: Varun Sharma @Poldip New Delhi Updated on: September 25, 2023 17:00 IST
HD Kumaraswamy with PM Narendra Modi
Image Source : PTI/FILE JDS leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

JDS joins NDA: The Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) led by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and his son HD Kumaraswamy on Friday decided to join the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) after Kumaraswamy's meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda. The BJP chief tweeted about the development and said this will further strengthen the NDA and vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "New India, Strong India". Both parties will contest the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 together in Karnataka. The rumours about the alliance have been doing the rounds ever since the landslide victory of the Congress party in Karnataka in May. 

The alliance talks gained momentum after former Karnataka Chief Minister and BJP's tallest leader in South BS Yediyurappa publicly admitted that Amit Shah has agreed to give four Lok Sabha seats to JDS in Karnataka. Later, Deve Gowda also confirmed that his party will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in 2024 together with the BJP in Karnataka. 

What happened in the 2023 Karnataka Assembly Elections? 

In the 2023 Karnataka Assembly Elections, the Congress party won 135 seats in the 224-member strong Assembly with a vote share of 42.88 per cent relegating the BJP to just 66 seats. The JDS was reduced to just 19 seats in the elections. The BJP managed to get 36 per cent of the votes in the elections while the JDS received just 13.30 per cent votes. The Grand Old Party's victory in Karnataka was the biggest one since the 1989 Assembly polls when it won 178 seats and Veerendra Patil took over as the Chief Minister. 

What happened in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections? 
In the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the BJP won 25 seats with 51.75 per cent vote share in Karnataka. The Congress and the JDS managed to win one seat each with vote shares of 32.11 per cent and 9.74 per cent respectively after being in an alliance. The Mandya constituency was won by Sumalatha, the wife of Ambareesh, after the BJP's backing.  India Tv - HD Kumaraswamy with Amit Shah.

Image Source : PTIHome Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda with former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy during a meeting in New Delhi.

What is the arithmetic of the BJP-JDS alliance in Karnataka?
The in-depth analysis of all 224 Assembly constituencies shows that the Congress party was ahead in 18 Lok Sabha seats while the BJP was in the lead in just 8 seats. The JDS was ahead in the remaining 2 seats (Hassan and Tumkur). The Congress party was ahead in Chikkodi, Bagalkot, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Raichur, Bidar, Koppal, Bellary, Haveri, Davanagere, Chitradurga, Mandya, Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Bangalore Rural, Bangalore Central, Chikballapur and Kolar. The BJP was leading in Belgaum, Dharwad, Uttara Kannada, Shimoga, Udupi Chikmagalur, Dakshina Kannada, Bangalore North and Bangalore South. So, the Congress party is likely to get a whopping gain of 17 seats in Karnataka if these Assembly poll results get translated into the Lok Sabha constituencies. The BJP is all set to lose these 17 seats at the hands of the Siddaramaiah-led Congress in the state.   

However, if the BJP and the JDS contested the elections together they could have won it comfortably. The analysis shows that the BJP-JDS alliance was ahead of the Congress party in 18 Lok Sabha seats. This is the net gain of 8 seats. The alliance, apart from their 10 seats (8 for the BJP and 2 for the JDS), could have won or snatched Bijapur, Raichur, Mandya, Mysore, Bidar, Kolar, Bangalore Rural and Chikballapur from the Congress party. The alliance was also poised to give a tough fight to the 'GOP' in Bagalkot, Gulbarga and Bangalore Central. It seems that this calculation has forced both parties to forge an alliance in order to prevent the Congress party from sweeping the state in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha Elections.

Regarding the Assembly Elections, the BJP-JDS alliance could have won 130 seats together against the Congress party's 90. The 'GOP' could have lost 45 seats if there had been an alliance between the BJP and the JDS in the 2023 Assembly polls. The alliance could have won Bailhongal, Mandya, Madikeri, Malur, Kolar, Maddur, Saundatti Yellama, Badami, Nagthan, Indi, Jewargi, Basavana Bagevadi, Gulbarga Uttar, Shahapur, Yadgir, Manvi, Bidar, Sindhanur, Koppal, Haliyal, Karwar, Sirsi, Jagalur, Bhadravati, Sringeri, Mudigere, Kadur, Challakere, Hiriyur, Sira, Tiptur, Koratagere, Gubbi, Srirangapatna, Nagamangala, Chamaraja, Heggadadevankote, T. Narasipur, Kunigal, Magadi, Ramanagaram, Gandhi Nagar, Chikkaballapur, Devanahalli and Bangarapet. 

Meanwhile, it is important to mention that the simple addition of vote shares of different alliance parties is a daunting task and there is no guarantee that it will achieve 100 per cent results.   

BJP-JDS alliance of 2006
The BJP and JDS had earlier formed an alliance in 2006 when the saffron party managed to break the Congress-JDS alliance. The HD Kumaraswamy-led JDS withdrew its support to the Dharam Singh-led coalition government and joined hands with the BJP. According to the arrangement, Kumaraswamy became the Chief Minister for 20 months with Yeddyurappa as his deputy. Under a power-sharing formula of 20 months each, Yediyurappa was to replace Kumaraswamy. The BJP veteran became the first BJP Chief Minister in the South in November 2007 but his government collapsed just after 7 days as the JDS refused to back the BJP.


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