Why BJP lost urban Karnataka


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The urban voter was clearly in favour of the Congress. Be it at Bangalore, Mysore or Mangalore the three major urban areas in the state, the Congress put up a good show and the high voter turn out in these belts indicated that the people voted for a change.

In Bangalore alone there are 28 constituencies and the Congress managed to win 13 of them. The prominent wins were by Roshan Baig, N Harris, R V Devraj, Priya Krishna, Dinesh Gundu Rao among others.

The BJP on the other which was the clear leader in Bangalore in the year 2008 managed to win just 12 seats in the Bangalore belts when compared to the 20 odd they won in 2008. The JD(S) on the other hand managed to win just 3 seats.

The situation was similar in both Mangalore and Mysore too where the Congress emerged as the clear winner. The Congress managed to win 6 out of the 8 seats in the Mysore belt while in Mangalore its tally was a clear and the Congress won, Mangalore city North and South and also Mangalore city.

The BJP was particularly surprised that it lost both Bangalore and Mangalore where it has been traditionally strong. The party was extremely desperate to retain these seats and even roped in Narendra Modi to campaign both in Bangalore and Mangalore. However the BJP expected too much out of Modi and they were not aware that one man could not change the mess that they had created.

The people of Bangalore came out in large numbers this time to cast their vote. There was a sense of determination to vote the BJP out of power and the voters suceeeded in doing so. There was a cry for change in Bangalore city which was actually disgruntled with the manner in which the BJP conducted itself over the past five years. While in 70 odd constituencies across the rural parts of the state B S Yeddyurappa was a factor that was not the case in Bangalore. Several voters and analysts say that it was a vote for change. However one must also understand that this was more of a negative BJP vote than a pro Congress one, analysts would point out.

In Mangalore the scenario was quite similar. Here a Yeddyurappa factor did work and his quitting the party kept the ground staff of the party a divided unit. The people of Mangalore city were unhappy about several incidents ranging from the Church to Pub to Home stay attacks. They felt that they had seen too much violence in the city and this beautiful coastal town remained in the news for all the wrong reasons. Ironically the voting pattern in Mangalore also changed this time and there was no polarization of the Hindu votes. The Congress fielded all minority candidates and normally in such a case the Hindus get together to vote the minorities out. However this was not the case this time and the BJP lost yet another bastion of its in Mangalore.

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