While BJP may be correct in calling itself the victor of the Karnataka elections, due to the fact that it is the single largest party, it is also true that they fell just a bit short of the magic halfway mark. Due to this, we have been seeing all kinds of political gymnastics in the past few days.
The battle of the votes was quite close in the end, as it was seen that BJP lost a few seats by a very slender margin, which was sometimes less than the votes polled by NOTA. In Badami, Siddaramaiah won by only 1,696 votes while the NOTA count stood at 2,007 votes. Similarly, in Gadag, the Congress defeated BJP by 1,868 votes, and NOTA polled 2,007 votes. The story is similar in 3 other constituencies: Hirekerur, Kundagol and Maski. In each of these cases the margin was below 700 votes, BJP lost, and NOTA polled more than the margin.
On the one hand, while some might say BJP came so close to a simple majority only thanks to Modi’s push, some people are also of the view that internal sabotage, rebels, and poor ticket distribution are also major factors to blame for BJP falling just short of the magic halfway mark.
BJP MP Dr Subramanian Swamy though has a totally different theory. He took to Twitter to elaborate how BJP could have avoided the narrow losses it faced:
At least 8 seats in Karnataka was lost by BJP by a margin less than NOTA. If I had been allowed to campaign in the election this would not have happened. The effect of Times Now Kuch Bhi debate proves that.
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) May 17, 2018
Dr Swamy claims that if he had been “allowed” to campaign in Karnataka, BJP could have won 8 seats which were lost by a margin lesser than the NOTA votes. These 8 seats added to the 104 seats currently plus some independents and others, could have seen BJP romp home.
Dr Swamy backed his claim by citing the now epic battle of Bollywood villain turned Congress campaigner Prakash Raj, with Dr Swamy himself, on Times Now TV channel. Dr Swamy had totally destroyed Raj on the debate. As videos of the show went viral, Raj eventually accepted defeat on Twitter.
While Dr Swamy felt his onscreen machismo could have translated into on the ground votes and possibly 8 seats, some users disagreed saying that while Dr Swamy may be a fantastic debater, it may not be a substitute for mass appeal, needed in elections:
No denying that you are a pandit and most knowledgeable sir. But mass appeal is something you must admit you don’t have, and a Times Now debate isnt the measure of it.
— whinyRoomie (@whinyRoomie) May 17, 2018
However, it is more important to note the choice of words used by Dr Swamy. He claimed that he was not “allowed” to campaign in Karnataka. The question, therefore, is who did not allow him to campaign? Dr Swamy has a long-standing feud with former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. But Jaitley was nowhere in the picture for the Karnataka campaign. Was it Amit Shah then, who is seen as the national level architect of BJP’s campaign? Or was it local CM candidate B S Yeddyurappa? That may seem unlikely since just a couple of days back he had referred to Yeddyurappa as his “good friend”
I hope to see my good friend Yeddiruppa as CM on 18 th
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) May 15, 2018
Then is Dr Swamy directly training the gun at PM Modi?