Election drama from the ‘K’ States in South India. Kerala and Karnataka. #LokSabha2019

South Indian dishes are so different from North India just like the politics of South India and North India. Like North India, South India doesn’t actually vote for the National Parties but they chose regional parties over the National parties. It’s the same when it comes to Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. But then there are two states Kerala and Karnataka which are in line with the North Indian states.

Both Kerala and Karnataka have had the history of voting National Parties to power which is why we don’t get to see major regional parties in these two states. Kerala for its own reasons revolves between Congress and CPM. Karnataka votes between Congress and BJP. The late 20th-century entrant into Karnataka was Deva Gowda’s JDS.

Karnataka had been a special place for Congress till 1991 where they had won almost 80%-100% seats from 1951 to 1991. Of the total 28 seats in Karnataka, Congress was winning 25-28 seats till 1991. Things changed then and the major shift happened in 1996 when JDS led by Deva Gowda won 16 seats and became the Prime Minister. Then the second shift happened in 2004 where Karnataka started to vote for BJP and BJP was winning anywhere between 17-19 seats.

Karnataka is divided into four regions. Below are the regions and the seat numbers part of those regions.

  • Mumbai Karnataka which has seats like Belgaum, Hubli etc
  • Coastal Karnataka which has seats like Mangalore, Udupi etc
  • Hyderabad Karnataka which has news like Gulbarga, Bellary, Raichur etc
  • Old Mysore which is the largest with 13 seats that include Bangalore, Mysore, Tumkur etc

Of the 28 seats and in the four regions, BJP will win in Mumbai Karnataka and Coastal Karnataka as these are traditional BJP seats and they are with BJP for last 15 years. These two regions are strongholds of BJP, Hyderabad Karnataka and Old Mysore are the JDS+Congress strongholds. With JDS and Congress coming together the vote share will surely increase for the coalition which will pose a challenge to BJP. This time there could be a vertical split with 28 seats going 14-14 to BJP and Cong-JDS combine. This is only because of Cong-JDS alliance else, BJP would have again crossed 18 seat mark.

Kerala the fortress for Communist Party of India (Marxist), but only alternatively.

Kerala has been the place for CPM and Congress for a long time. Kerala is divided into two regions, North Kerala and South Kerala. Kerala has got 20 seats and the polling for all the 20 seats will be on April 23rd. In the 2014 elections, UDF led by Congress won 12 seats and LDF led by CPM won 8 seats. That’s the competition between the Congress and Communist party in Kerala.

There are some surprises which could come up in this elections in Kerala and that could be a win for BJP for the first time. BJP is hoping to win two seats. One is the Thiruvananthapuram seat which they lost by a small margin and second is Thrissur which has sizable Hindu population and from where famous actor Suresh Gopi is contesting from BJP ticket. One seat where BJP can give some competition to CPM is the Kasargode seat where religious polarization due to the killing of RSS workers might make the Hindus to shift votes to BJP.

But the tide is expected to be in the way of Congress this time with 14-15 seats coming their way. Wayanad is the seat that has caught all the attention after Rahul Gandhi has nominated himself from there, this decision of Rahul is being highly trolled by BJP. But then ultimately, Wayanad is a strong seat for Congress and with Rahul contesting it’s going to an easy job for INC and Rahul Gandhi to become part of 17th Lok Sabha. CPM is losing badly this time with just 3 seats coming their way and BJP could be the surprise with 2 wins and 1 very tough race.

So, of the 48 seats from Karnataka and Kerala, Congress is expected to win 28-30 seats, 14 each from Karnataka and Kerala. BJP is only expected to win 15-17 seats. The other 3 seats are going to CPM. This means that the ‘K’ states are giving huge wins for UPA led by Congress.

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