Cong, BJP vying for more seats in Dharwad dist

With prominent leaders of all three major political parties hitting the campaign trail in the district, the poll fray is heating up here, and each party is leaving no stone unturned to win maximum number of seats in the district.

Dharwad district has seven Assembly constituencies, and different political calculations are going on in each segment. The fluctuation in having maximum seats in the district is so high in the district in recent decades, that a party rarely continued the domination for the next elections with this regard. In last two decades, it has been a largely direct fight between Congress and BJP in terms of getting more number of seats in the district. 

After continuous victory for Congress candidates in most of the constituencies in the district during the initial decades after the independence, post-emergency era brought a mix of MLAs coming from different parties in the district, and a few independent candidates were also elected. Then was the fight between Congress and Janata Parivar, and later, BJP posing a challenge to the Congress.

Changing situation

After the competition between Congress Party and Janata Pariwar in 1980s, BJP raised its head in 1994 elections. In fact, BJP's score was a zero in the district in the elections held in 1985 and 1989. The sudden victory for the BJP came in 1994, when the party won three seats in the district, while Congress could win only one seat, with Janata Dal and KCP emerged victorious in two and one seats respectively. Then began the intense fight between two national parties, with a few instances of regional parties and independent candidates posing tough fight.

The BJP maintained its tally of three seats in 1999 elections also, while Congress improved its performance by bagging two seats, while independent candidates were elected in two constituencies. The situation was almost same in 2004 elections also, but JDU won a seat.

The 2008 election results brought a massive strength to the BJP, as it won six seats, while Congress could win only one seat. The situation again changed in 2013, when Congress made a comeback by winning four seats, while BJP retained two seats, and JD(S) bagged one seat.

Amidst such fluctuations in every election, political parties now in a 'war mode' to win as many seats as possible in the district in this elections, by retaining seats which they already have and by winning constituencies where they do not have sitting MLAs.

Vote share

Congress Party had nearly 32% vote share in the district in 2008 elections, and it increased to around 37% in 2013 polls. JD(S) secured nearly 15% of votes in 2008, and it was around 17% in 2013.

BJP experienced a fall in the vote share from 2008 to 2013 elections. It bagged little more than 42% of votes in the district in 2008, and it came down to around 25% in 2013. The KJP, which was then led by B S Yeddyurappa, had around 15% vote share, and in fact it was considered as responsible for the BJP candidate's defeat in a few constituencies.

Now, calculations are changed, some leaders have changed their parties, campaigning methods are different, and elections are being fought as a prestige issue. In such a situation, which party would win more seats in the district has become a curious issue, in addition to who would win individual constituencies.

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