The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), driven by the popularity of Prime Minister Modi, aims to break a 38-year-old pattern where Karnataka has never re-elected the incumbent party since 1985. Conversely, the Congress party seeks a morale-boosting victory to carve out space and gather momentum as the primary opposition party leading up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
With a well-organized election machinery, the BJP enters the electoral battle well-prepared and ready to face the challenges. Prime Minister Modi spearheaded a high-impact campaign characterized by its swiftness and forcefulness.
During the 2018 elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the largest single party, securing victory in 104 seats. The Congress party won 80 seats, while the Janata Dal (Secular) JD(S) secured 37 seats. Additionally, one seat each was won by an independent candidate, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party.
With no party holding a clear majority, the Congress and JD(S) attempted to form an alliance. However, BJP leader B S Yediyurappa staked a claim and formed the government. Unfortunately, the government had to resign just three days before the trust vote as it failed to gather enough support.
Subsequently, the Congress-JD(S) alliance came together to establish a new government, with H D Kumaraswamy as the chief minister. However, after 14 months, the government faced instability as 17 legislators, including independents, resigned from the ruling coalition and defected to the BJP. This led to the collapse of the government, followed by the BJP returning to power. In the subsequent by-elections held in 2019, the ruling party displayed dominance by winning 12 out of 15 seats.
In the outgoing Assembly, the BJP holds 116 MLAs, followed by the Congress with 69, JD(S) with 29, BSP with one, two independents, one Speaker, and six vacant seats.
With inputs from News18