2014 show may hit JD(S) 12-seat demand

The Congress is likely to use data to deny the JD(S) 12 seats the regional party has demanded to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. 

The JD(S), according to sources, is eyeing Lok Sabha seats like Chitradurga, Tumkur, Bangalore North, Chikkaballapur, Raichur and Kolar. But some Congress leaders have argued that the JD(S) simply lacked the presence required to win even eight seats.

Theoretically, the vote share of a Congress-JD(S) combine will touch 50% in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, based on the 2014 tally. This political arithmetic, however, may not convince the Congress.

 



In 2014, the JD(S) contested 25 Lok Sabha seats, but won only two — Hassan and Mandya. Further dissection of the voting pattern in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections reveals an interesting score line, and that is where the Congress’ concern lies. If all the votes in 2014 are distributed across 224 Assembly constituencies, the BJP won 132 seats, the Congress won 76 and the JD(S) just 15.  

“Of the 37 seats the JD(S) won in the May Assembly elections, only three were in north Karnataka and rest in the Vokkaliga belt,” a Cabinet minister of the Congress said. “So where is the question of giving them 12 seats?”

The Congress’ data analytics wing has been crunching numbers from previous polls to help the party decide on the best seat-sharing formula.

In the Bangalore North constituency, for instance, where it is speculated that Gowda wants to contest this time, the JD(S) vote share was 6.83%, far behind the Congress (35.99%) and BJP (52.91%). The party’s vote share was worse in Raichur at just 2.24%.

The JD(S) may stake claim for Chitradurga, Chikkaballapur, Tumkur and Kolar on the basis of relatively high vote share in the 2014 polls, but these are seats currently held by the Congress. Also, the gap between the JD(S) vote share vis-a-vis Congress and BJP is too wide in some of these seats, which means the party has to slog to stand a chance to win. 

The Congress is also wary of consolidation of Vokkaliga votes in favour of the JD(S).

Political analyst Sandeep Shastri said he would not be surprised if the JD(S) demand for seats came down to a single digit. “But will the alliance end up creating space for the BJP to gain by fielding a common candidate in places where they have a history of rivalry? That’s the big question,” he said, citing the example of the recent Mandya bypoll where the BJP bagged an impressive 2.44 lakh votes against the Congress-JD(S) combine.

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2014 show may hit JD(S) 12-seat demand

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