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What’s in store for Karnataka

It has become customary for “national” media of different persuasions to carry out their exit polls and speculate on the election results. With several television media channels leaving no ambiguity about their political leanings, trying to figure out the correct outcomes is well nigh impossible. They have been at it since May 12 when Karnataka went to the polls. Notwithstanding media speculations however, the results should be out by 11 am Tuesday (today) and it should be pretty clear who will be in the driving seat in Karnataka.  The problem with campaigning in state elections since 2014 is that Prime Minister, Narendra Modi is an important fixture. Without him and his declamation the BJP does not seem to know what exactly to pitch its poll campaign on.  And then there are all-out personal attacks by leaders of the BJP and the Congress which has taken the campaign to a new low.

There are as many views about the probable results as there are media channels. Some give the Congress a slight edge over the BJP; others see the BJP forming the next government in Karnataka. For the Congress, Karnataka is the proverbial cup that must be won at any and all costs because this is one of the bigger states in South India where its writ rules; others are small states like Mizoram and Pondicherry and they don’t count much as far as political clout is concerned.  In fact, the Karnataka polls are likened by many to a semi-final before the grand finale in 2019 when the Lok Sabha elections will be held. Intellectuals and liberal thinkers who see the BJP’s rise as detrimental to India’s secular ethos are keeping their fingers crossed that the Party should lose Karnataka so that it takes time to introspect.  As if political parties ever concede their errors of judgment!

By evening today both the Congress and the BJP would have accepted their fates and the Janata Dal (United) which sees itself as kingmaker would also know where it stands.  

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