The true winner may not be the BJP at all, or its rival the Congress, but a smaller party

Bengaluru polls Number crunching that tells you just how much of a win it was for BJPBJP Karnataka Twitter handle
news Thursday, August 27, 2015 - 14:34

Once the adrenalin of the elections subsides, the verdict can be taken to the lab and dissected. The results are revealing, and suggest that the real winner might actually be a smaller party and not the two national giants.

Even though the BJP will head the Council for the next five years, two analyses of the numbers by two newspapers have shown that there are no clear winners or losers in the BBMP elections – in comparison with the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP’s vote share has gone down; and that the margin of victory was rather small.

According to Kannada daily Prajavani, the BJP’s margin of victory was just 1.05 percent. The saffron party’s vote share this year was 40.35 percent while the Congress obtained 39.3 percent of the total votes polled.

Party Vote share 2010Vote share 20152015 Seats (2010 seats)
BJP38.79 %40.35 %100 (111)
Congress35.04 %39.30 %76 (65)
JD (S)15 %13.68 %14 (15)

A comparison of the Lok Sabha elections and the BBMP elections – both of which the BJP publicly fought in the name of development and prime minister Narendra Modi – by The Hindu, shows that the party’s vote share in Bengaluru has actually declined by 13.5 percent from its vote share during the Lok Sabha polls.

During the general election, BJP’s vote share in the city was 53.85 percent. Congress’ vote share was up slightly from 37.04 percent in the Lok Sabha elections to 39.3 percent in the civic polls.

Official figures show that the Janata Dal (Secular)’s vote share dipped by around 2 percent from the 2010 BBMP elections, while the Congress actually made the highest gain in 2015.

Another party that has made a small, but significant gain is the Social Democratic Party of India, the political party supported by the cadres of the Popular Front of India. According to Prajavani’s figures, in the 18 seats that the party contested, the SDPI’s vote share totally was 16.2 percent.

Speaking to The News Minute, Abdul Raheem the State Secretary for the Karnataka unit, said that the party had contested 18 seats this year, including the 11 wards it had contested in 2010.

He claimed that the party had obtained a meager 50,000 votes this year, compared to around 20,000-22,000 votes in the previous civic polls – but which is slightly over double the votes that it got last time. No other major party’s vote share has risen so dramatically.

“In the Assembly polls, we got 10,500 votes in Sarvajnanagar, (Home Minister) K J George’s constituency. This time, we got 10,300 votes in a ward seat,” Raheem said. He was referring to Nagwara ward, where he says the party lost by 300 votes. “We lost there because the Congress, BJP and JD (S) aligned together,” he claims.

He says the SDPI lost the Padaranyapura ward (No 135) by 5,000 votes allegedly because “The opposition spent a lot of money and we are a cadre-based party, that’s why we lost.”

On the party’s winning Siddapura (Ward No 144), Raheem said: “We defeated the (former) leader of the Opposition from the Congress to win that seat.”

According to Prajavani, the SDPI has fared well in areas traditionally held by the Congress, which suffered in those areas because of the party.

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