Strengths and Weaknesses of Parties in Karnataka Assembly Elections

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Here are the strengths and weaknesses of political parties in fray in Karnataka for Assembly elections.

CONGRESS

STRENGTHS

  • Siddaramaiah has emerged as a powerful leader with no opponents.
  • The CM’s welfare schemes, Anna Bhagya, Arogya Bhagya, Ksheera Bhagya, Indira Canteens have been a big success.
  • Invoking Kannada pride and supporting the move of the state to have its own flag won him brownie points.
  • The Amit Shah of Karnataka, the CM has successfully stitched together a social coalition — Ahinda (comprising backwards), Dalits and Muslims. He has tried to expand the base with his outreach to Lingayats.

WEAKNESSES

  • Anti-Incumbency, lack of coordination between government and party
  • Corruption charges against senior ministers
  • Too many camps and factionalism in the Congress
  • Presence of former PM H D Deve Gowda’s JD(S) as a possible spoiler in some parts.

BJP

STRENGTHS

  • Projection of B S Yeddyurappa as CM candidate.
  • A Lingayat face, the community may back Yeddyurappa.
  • Stronger cadre presence; Allied saffron outfits can help by exploiting any unrest against “appeasement” Appeal of PM Modi.

WEAKNESSES

  • Corruption charge against Yeddyurappa; Congress calls him a “jailbird”.
  • Factionalism between Yeddyurappa and KS Eshwarappa. Both hail from Shivamogga district.
  • Has a weak and thin social base
  • Over reliance on Modi.

JANATA DAL (SECULAR)

STRENGTHS

  • Former PM HD Deve Gowda is today a spent force. But he still has the staunch support of fellow Vokkaligas and is a formidable force in the Old Mysore region.
  • His son and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is popular especially in rural areas and among the working class in the unorganised sector.
  • Party’s alliance with BSP and Left parties.
  • Efforts are on to rope in Telugu superstar Pavan Kalyan for campaigning which may increase party’s appeal among young voters.
  • Party has been successful in evoking regional sentiments and it might appeal to a section of the electorate.
  • The ‘left out’ feeling among Vokkaligas may help the party to consolidate its position in the Old Mysuru region.

WEAKNESSES

  • Known as Appa-Maga party – a father-son party
  • No pan-Karnataka presence
  • No tall leaders who can pull votes in North Karnataka and Coastal Karnataka
  • No money power like Congress or the BJP.