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Elections in Karnataka have been announced; the BJP faces challenging opponent and is to rely on Modi’s popularity

The BJP is hoping that the Narendra Modi factor can eliminate the anti-incumbency growing as a result of corruption allegations and help it achieve a clear mandate in the elections. The BJP has never won a clear majority in Karnataka in the two terms that it has formed governments (2008–13 and 2019–23).

The Election Commission of India announced that the Karnataka Assembly election will take place on May 10 and that the results will be made public on May 13.There will be elections in each of the 224 assembly constituencies. Starting today, the model code of conduct for elections will be used.

After its electoral victory in the Northeast, the BJP anticipates a challenging race in the Karnataka Assembly elections, which will take place on May 10. In the past 40 years, Karnataka, the only state in south India where the BJP is in power, has never returned an incumbent to office.

The BJP did not achieve a clear majority in Karnataka during either of its two spells in office (2008–13 and 2019–present), but it is hopeful that the Narendra Modi factor would overcome the anti–incumbency sentiment against it and help it beyond the halfway point of 113 in the 224–member Assembly.

The BJP’s main rival is the Congress, which was thought to have paid a price for overconfidence in the 2018 elections as a result of its government’s socialist and populist policies and the lack of significant corruption allegations.

The top BJP hierarchy, including J P Nadda, Amit Shah, and Narendra Modi, focused their efforts on eradicating corruption during their recent visits to Karnataka. The BJP should be elected with a sizable majority, the leaders argued, to put an end to this type of politics. They also made it clear that, unlike in 2018, the BJP would not form covert alliances with regional parties like the JD(S).A convergence of caste groups, however, could be the deciding factor given the current scenario, in which the BJP and Congress appear to be in the same boat, seeking to win 80–100 seats, with the JD(S) obtaining 20–40.

The BJP and the Congress have not yet projected a candidate for the position of chief minister, while the JD(S) is doing so with former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy. Although though D K Shivakumar has been urging his Vokkaliga community to support the Congress in order to enable his ascent to the post, the Congress has been able to limit the conflict between former CM Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar to be seen as a CM contender.

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