ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Grounds for Concern in Karnataka

There are long-term dangers that lurk behind the gains made by the bjp in Karnataka.

The outcome of the recent assembly elections in Karnataka does mark a notable advance for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that has been striving to extend its influence, without much success till recently, in peninsular India. In a house of 224, the BJP has won 110 seats, three short of a majority, followed by the Indian National Congress (INC) with 80 seats, the Janata Dal (Secular) [JDS] with 28 and six independents. The last category comprises four INC rebels, one BJP rebel and one JDS rebel. Neither the Bahujan Samaj Party that wanted to have a presence in Karnataka, nor the Janata Dal (United) which had won five seats in 2004 won a single seat this time. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) lost the lone seat it had held in the previous house. Similar was the fate of one or two smaller and nosier one-person parties with a nuisance value.

True to character, the six independent candidates, five of them by their own definition secular and anti-communal, have announced that they will be supporting the BJP. The decks are thus clear for the first BJP-led government to assume office in the state. The swearing in ceremony, in case other events or second thoughts do not intervene, is to follow just as we go to press. Power is a strong glue that binds the most unlikely components. State and national leaders of the BJP are crowing that this marks the beginning of the end of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in Delhi, and the return of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance to power at the centre.

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