South Asia and Beyond

Unpacking the Karnataka Election Verdict

NEW DELHI: The just concluded Karnataka election was a rude wake up call for the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Not only did it lose to its principal rival, the Congress, the party ended a distant second in an election. The stinging defeat showed that the BJP had failed in its messaging. Especially its inability to harvest social capital from some major development initiatives undertaken during its tenure—including achieving saturation in cooking gas connections. How did the BJP get it so wrong? Was it that the populist promises of the Congress outweighed the “double-engine” promise of the BJP? Or was it that the after growing the aspirations of the people, the BJP could not match electoral expectations? To answer this and more we chose to go beyond the conventional metrics of caste and religion. Not because they have ceased to be significant. Not yet. Instead, it is because an electorate riding growing aspirations is beginning to throw up new electoral touch points. To help unravel this we spoke to Pradeep Gupta, CMD, Axis My India. Their exit poll, an outlier forecast claiming a majority verdict for Congress was spot on.

Nitin A Gokhale WhatsApp Channel


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