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MP is bellwether, not Karnataka: BJP

By Desk FnF | PUBLISHED: 10, Nov 2018, 10:17 am IST | UPDATED: 22, Nov 2018, 13:01 pm IST

MP is bellwether, not Karnataka: BJP

Desk FnF: The victory of the Congress-Janata Dal (S) alliance in byelections in Karnataka is being perceived as a precursor to the 2019 Lok Sabha election, if a grand alliance takes shape against the BJP in the way it has in that State.

For the BJP, however, the byelection results did not throw up any surprises and the party feels that it would be the Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh that could well be the inflection point for 2019, deciding many things about the shape of the fight.

“It is erroneous to say that the bypoll loss in Karnataka is a bellwether for the 2019 polls. The results were a continuation of the Assembly poll results, where we had lost six out of the eight Assembly seats in Ballari, and we were also not a force in Mandya and Jamkhandi. We won Shivamogga as was expected,” said a senior office-bearer of the party.

Crucial contest

Madhya Pradesh, in the view of two other office-bearers, is more important with regard to the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

“It is the actual bipolar fight between the BJP and the Congress in miniature. The Congress’s performance in Madhya Pradesh will determine the shape of the anti-BJP alliance nationally. If they do well, then they will demand more of a leadership role, if they don’t, then even the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alliance in Maharashtra will face challenges with Sharad Pawar demanding a bigger share,” the source said.

“In Uttar Pradesh, for the Mahagathbandhan [grand alliance] of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, the share of the Congress depends on the performance in Madhya Pradesh, very evident from the fact that BSP chief Mayawati declined an alliance with the Congress in Madhya Pradesh and subsequently in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan,” the source said.

“The State is also where the Jan Sangh took birth and where our organisation is very strong on the ground. It will be demonstrative of our preparedness and the fight in our cadre,” he said.

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