Most victories won straight, with a bit of reverse swing

With independents and high-stature candidates from newer parties having not impacted the elections much, the verdict has gone the way assembly elections went in 2008.

If there was one clear sign at the end of counting yesterday evening, it was this: the electoral victories that the BJP sustained in 2008 by plucking 17 of the 27 state assembly seats from Bengaluru, has held sway on March 28th as well.

The premise of this report is this: party identities and allegiances have broadly held sway in the March 28th city polls, not individual candidate credentials. With individual stature not being a factor in bulk of the wards, voters – whichever way you assume their votes were got –  have stayed with three major parties. For the most, they voted for the BJP or the Congress.

This makes the case for a macro-level party-based analysis of the verdicts first.

Look at it this way: All but one of Bengaluru’s 198 wards are folded into 27 Assembly Constituencies (ACs). Since the assembly elections were held only two years back, it was possible that whatever trend and outcome prevailed in 2008 would hold here as well. The media-conducted polls did give a flavour of the tailwind for the BJP. (India has a history of anti-incumbency, but these two elections are only two years apart, so it may have been too soon for a pushback.)

In other words, going into the election, it was possible that constituencies that are held by a BJP MLA would see more or most of its wards going to the BJP and likewise for the Congress or JD(S). The MLA of a constituency is a person of significantly higher stature than the typical corporator candidates we saw. So since the MLA was going to bring his winning campaign of 2008 and party base to bear for the wards in his or her constituency, this was going to be a factor.

And this is what happened, for the most part.

Seventeen out of 27 constituencies went in favour of the sitting MLA’s party. BJP retained a majority of or swept the wards in 12 out of 17 constituencies. Congress held its ground in five of its MLA belts.

BJP MLA constituencies

Rajajeshwari Nagar AC (MLA, M Srinivas): Of the nine wards here, five seats went to BJP, four to Congress.
Rajajinagar AC (MLA, S Suresh Kumar): Of the seven seats, six to BJP.
KR Puram AC (MLA, Nandeesh Reddy): Of the nine seats, BJP got eight.
Malleshwaram AC (MLA, Dr C N Ashwath Narayan): Of the seven seats, six went to BJP.
Hebbal AC (MLA, Katta Subramanya Naidu): Of the eight wards, five to BJP.
C V Raman Nagar AC (MLA, S Raghu): All seven seats went to BJP.
Basavanagudi AC (MLA, Ravi Subramanya):  Of the six seats, four to BJP.
Padmanabhanagar AC (MLA, R Ashoka): Of the eight seats, five to BJP.
Jayanagar AC (MLA, B N Vijaykumar): Of the seven seats, five to BJP.
Bommanahalli AC (MLA, Satish Reddy M): All eight seats to BJP.
Yelahanka AC (MLA, Vishwanath S R): All four seats to BJP.
Dasarahalli AC (BJP MLA, Muniraju S): Of the eight seats, five to BJP.

Congress/Congress constituencies

Shivajinagar AC (MLA, Roshan Baig): Of the seven wards, four seats to Congress.
Shantinagar AC (MLA, N A Harris): Of the seven wards, four seats to Congress.
Gandhinagar AC (MLA, Dinesh Gundu Rao): Of the seven seats, five to Congress.
Pulikeshinagar AC (MLA, B N Prasanna Kumar): Of the seven seats, five to Congress.
BTM Layout (MLA, Ramalinga Reddy): Of the five of the eight seats to Congress.

Some reverse swing

In an indication of the BJP further advancement, the Congress lost a majority of wards in three ACs in which has sitting MLAs.

Govindrajanagar AC (MLA, V Somanna): Of the nine seats, 8 to BJP.
Vijaynagar AC (MLA, M Krishnappa): Of the eight seats, six to BJP.
Byatarayanapura AC (MLA, Krishna Byregowda): Of the seven seats, four to BJP.

The BJP lost a majority of wards in just one AC where it has a sitting MLA.

Mahadevapura AC (MLA, Arvind Limbavali): Of the eight seats, seven to Congress.

Fractured verdict

It should come as no surprise that Bangalore is not exactly a bastion for the JD(S). The party won only one AC in 2008: Chamarajpet (MLA, B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan). Here, of the seven seats, JD(S), BJP and Congress all got two seats.

Three BJP MLA constituencies and two Congress constituencies were fractured.

Chickpet AC (BJP MLA, Hemachandra Sagar): Of the seven seats, BJP and Congress got three each.
Mahalakshmi layout (Congress MLA, N L Narendra Babu): Of the seven seats, JD(S) and Congress got three each.
Sarvagnanagar AC (Congress MLA, K J George): Of the seven seats, three each to BJP and Congress.
Yeshwanthpur AC (BJP MLA, Shobha Karandlaje): Of the five seats, two each to BJP and JD(S). Bangalore South AC (BJP MLA, M Krishnappa): Of the eight seats, four to Congress.

There will be soul searching on all sides after the verdicts of April 5th. What happened at Mahadevpura? Sitting BJP MLA Arvind Limbavali saw eight of nine wards go to the Congress! Why did the RWA floated ‘clean’ candidates lose (again)? Could the reformist Lok Satta party’s candidates, in particular N S Ramakanth who secured a handsome 1500+ votes in Vasanthnagar have done better?

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