Bajrangbali Issue Didn’t Work for BJP, Muslim Votes Shifted from JD-S to Congress

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NEW DELHI — As the Congress heads for a thumping victory in Karnataka, the BJP has finally conceded its defeat.

The BJP is now talking about reviewing the defeat and bringing changes in the party accordingly.

However, many party leaders are of the view that the promise of banning Bajrang Dal by the Congress led to a one-sided polarisation of the Muslim community in favour of the Congress, due to which the votes of the JD-S declined drastically, giving an edge to the grand old party.

Within an hour of the counting of votes on Saturday, the BJP had admitted that JD-S votes had shifted to the Congress and with each passing moment, the apprehensions of the BJP seemed to be proving correct.

The Old Mysore area of Karnataka is considered a JD-S stronghold. There are 55 assembly seats in this region, and Vokkaligas and Muslim voters have been deciding the victory and defeat in these seats, and both these communities have been considered solid vote-bank of JDS.

But the Congress’ promise to ban Bajrang Dal and the BJP’s campaign to link it with the insult of Bajrangbali (Lord Hanuman) polarised the Muslim vote in favour of the Congress.

In the last assembly election in 2018, JD-S had won 37 seats with 18.3 per cent votes, while the Congress had won 80 seats with 38.1 per cent votes. But this time, the vote-bank of JD-S declined by about 5 per cent and the Congress got about 5 per cent more votes.

In the Old Mysore area of Karnataka, the stronghold of JD-S (where the number of Muslim voters is significant), the JD-S is witnessing a decrease of about 15 seats and in this area Congress will get about 17 seats as compared to last time. — IANS

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Photo courtesy: PTI

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