Udupi verdict shows voters tiring of BJP antics

MATHIHALLI MADAN MOHAN writes from Hubli: The defeat in the Udupi-Chikamagalur by-election to the Lok Sabha is the price the BJP has paid—at last—for making a mockery of the mandate it had received from voters in Karnataka voters and reiterated in the string of by-elections held of the assembly in the interregnum.

The subtle changes witnessed in the voting pattern in the by-poll can be ignored only at their peril by the BJP’s strategists.  In a way the voting pattern is indicative of the mood of the people that their patience over the power tantrums of BJP may be running out.

The BJP’s fast rise in Karnataka, especially in the past decade, is mainly attributed to newly enrolled voters voting en masse in its favour to the total exclusion of the two other contenders, Congress and JD S . As a consequence, in the 2008 assembly election, it could displace the Congress as the party with the biggest share of votes.

This vital trend has been reversed this time.

In Udupi-Chikamagalur, an additional 24,000 voters had been freshly enrolled. Not a single vote has gone to the BJP this time in a constituency which all along was considered as one of its bastions in Karnataka.

To make the matters worse, the BJP could not even retain the vote base.

It has suffered erosion to the tune of over 48,000 votes between the 2009 when the parliament elections were held and in the by-election held now. In 2009 itself, the erosion in the vote base was marginal to the extent of little more than 9,000 over the 2008 assembly polls in the concerned segments.

Between 2008 and 2012, the party has lost more than 57,000 voters.

The only redeeming factor, however, is that of the more than 400,000 voters who had reposed confidence in the party in 2009, only ten percent chose to change their political loyalty, while the bulk of the voters chose to remain steady with the party, despite the plethora of scams and scandals that have plagued the party and the deep rooted schism among its top leaders that is now out in the open.

This may be a comforting thought for BJP leaders but one of them, B.S. Yediyurappa who is going all out to rehabilitate himself, is certainly not going to be happy. This is one election, where Yediyurappa openly said that he would not campaign for the party. While the party was battling here, Yediyurappa was on a temple sojourn seeking divine intervention to realise his ambition.

If Yediyurappa’s absence can be one of the contributing factors for the loss of 40,000 votes, then his image as the main vote catcher for the party and his status as the mass leader of the BJP in Karnataka gets a serious dent.

This was one election, which nobody seriously expected Congress to win. But it did not on its own volition but by default as it appears.  For the BJP’s loss of votes in the by-election, has not been a gain for the Congress.

Congress, as the poll figures reveal, could only rake up an additional 24,000 votes to its 2009 tally, which it had lost by a margin of 27,000 votes. The biggest gainer however for the record sake happens to be JDS, which could get  more than 72,000 votes this time, while it had left the seat uncontested last time

Another interesting feature is that the poll turnout in the 2009 general election and the present byelection, was almost been identical – a little more than 68%. And the only change in the scenario has been that over 28,000 new voters were added to the electoral list.  And the increase in the poll turn out has been around 18,000.

While all the new voters are expected not to miss the maiden opportunity to cast vote, obviously around 10,000 established voters who had voted last time obviously stayed way. And this scenario offered an ideal setting for discerning the response of the voters to the ugly happenings in BJP in general and to the internecine quarrels in particular.

Ultimately it so happened that while the Congress could increase its vote share by little more than 18,000 votes, the BJP had lost to the tune of  48,000 votes, and the JDS which had stayed away from contest three years ago, raked up support of  whopping  72,000 votes.

There has been a considerable decline in the number of apolitical voters, who would prefer voting “others” to any of the established parties. The number of such voters   which was around 55,000 last time had got reduced to little more than 28,000.  The bulk of them appeared to have supported JDS.

The moot question is why did the JDS, which had skipped contesting in 2009 choose to be in the arena this time, where it had not got a ghost of chance of winning.  And who was the ultimate beneficiary?

The Congress spokesmen had gone on record to say that move was to keep the secular votes in the constituency (a euphemism for the votes polled by the CPI last time) from going to Congress. Did the presence of the JDS help Congress to win or prevented BJP from winning?

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29 Responses to “Udupi verdict shows voters tiring of BJP antics”

  1. Pavan Says:

    simple things are missed out at times. Apart from kurchi (chair) politics at the helm, there is one more thing-candidate above party.

    The candidate who won in that by-election is known to work for the people irrespective of whether or not he is in power.

    Common sense still is the major factor when people vote. So much for the analysis.

  2. DailyBread Says:

    Bhaiya 3M,

    BJP will be very happy with the outcome, loss or gain of this seat would not have altered the party position in the center or state. BJP might have preserved the money for next set of elections……….

    BJP might have realised that there is no need to spend money in useless elections. In fact those 40,000 anti incumbency votes, having voted against the party once may come back in the crucial state elections.

  3. Deepak Says:

    As expected, you never talk about how UP voters got tired of Rahul’s antics, but are very prompt in writing about Udupi results!!! It would be too simplistic to assume that its all over for BJP. JDS ran a low key campaign and further BJP was hurt by Yeddy’s absence. These were major contributor to the Congress’ win and of course the humble, honest image of the Congress candidate helped. Its not going to be easy for Congress to replicate this in 2013.

    I am really amazed by this statement of the writer “In Udupi-Chikamagalur, an additional 24,000 voters had been freshly enrolled. ‘Not a single vote’ has gone to the BJP this time”. This is truly the most baffling thing ever written on this site. How in the name of good God does the writer know this? Has the EC given him a report telling him who the new voters are and whom they voted for? The author seems to keep making analyses to suit his opinions and most of them seems to be unsubstantiated!! Wonder if the writer would make an appearance here to explain his logic?

  4. narayana, narayana! Says:

    And still Yeddy and his gang wants to come back to the gaddi whereas people are disgusted with his antics. Well, he has all the gods and godmen behind him apparently. Good luck!

  5. harkol Says:

    This article is a bit puzzling. Some statements make no sense. Why would Yeddy be worried about Udupi being lost? It seems to be helping him to bolster his claims. How can the author know which way new 24,000 voters voted?

    But, other than that I agree with author that Coastal voters, who have been voting for BJP long before Lingayats found BJP, are loosing their patience with BJP.

    BJP seems to be more worried about Vokkaliga/Lingayat caste war, rather than doing something good. Neither of the above castes have any sway in Coastal region.

    But, I read somewhere that in Chikmagalur where they are sizeable, BJP did better than in coastal areas.

    Pavan: JP Hegde is indeed a good candidate, has a clean reputation and has worked hard in the constituency. However, that perhaps wasn’t the reason for his win. If that was the case, then why did he loose in 2009, he was the same person.

    No, it is BJP which lost, not Congress that won.

  6. Boochi Says:

    Deepak you muppet apply some logic when you read that statement about the 24,000 new voters.

    Now before everyone jumps on me, I would like to state that I am not in favour or against the article, only wanted to make a point for Deepak to understand.

  7. Saif Says:

    Coastal Karnataka is the hot bed of Hindutva in Karnataka, whose generations have been nurtured on ‘Muslim atrocities’ from Muhammad of Ghazni to Kashmiri Pandits to Chittaranjan Bhat murder. If BJP can lose there, what about places like Bellary where it is yet to find a person to rent them an office to run their affairs in the district a year after Sriramalu went out? 2013 elections are going to be very interesting.

  8. chidu22 Says:

    Amateur to say the least.

  9. NRI Says:

    Three main reasons why BJP lost the election:

    – The daily drama by Yeddy and his group, porngate and other ‘Reddy’ scandals have lowered the image of BJP to ‘just another congress’ in the eyes of voters.

    – Mr.Hegde belongs to Bunts community. Sunil Kumar was selected by BJP over another Bunts candidate from Udupi. People may not admit it – Caste still plays an important role in our elections. Most of the bunts decided to vote for a ‘bunt’ candidate.

    – As someone pointed out, Mr.Hegde is a decent man and not obsessed with power or ‘kurchi’.

    Time for BJP to come out of its suicidal march and see the reality…

  10. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    I take my cue from Daily Bread. A plurality of 40,000 votes is not a landslide. All it shows is not repudiation but a little irritation with the way the BJP is handling its nasty, brutish business.

    There is little to choose between the JDS and the Congress, but a total rout of the BJP in the next legislative elections is to be devoutly hoped for. The electorate is not educated enough to make that outcome possible. Too many religious leaders are beholden to the BJP, and they will get better at pulling the strings soon.

    I derive some satisfaction from the fact that this did not turn out to be a usual Vokkaliga–Lingaayath joust.

    What is going to become of us all?

    Incidentally, where were URA and Marulasiddappa this time when the learned members of the legislature sent the usual suspects to the Rajya Sabha? Not even a token fight.

  11. Simple Says:

    If this is the situation of BJP is one of its strongest constituencies, you can well imagine the state of this Bluefilm Janata Party (BJP) in the other areas.

    There is a massive 7% swing against the BJP when you compare this performance with the 2009 LS elections in Udupi Chikamagalur.
    This is an indication of the things to come.
    Nothing can redeem this party for their horrendus governance of blatant misuse of power.

    So, yea, Mr. Madan, BJP did poll around 3.5 lakh votes in Udupi, But so what?DMK too got 25% vote in Tamil Nadu, inspite of being beset with a string of corruption charges and inspite of being on the losing side. So is the case with Laloo’s RJD, or Congress in Ahmedabad or CPM in west bengal. The losing party still retains a significant chunk of its loyal voters, but what makes a difference is the small number of voters who can change their preference – which will eventually lead to a huge difference in the seats.,

    Goobye BJP. Nobody wanted you anway. We the people of Karnataka just tolerated you for four years. Now the time has come for you to go.


    In the last two months, this is the 7th straight defeat for BJP out of 8 elections. It lost in Bellary, Gandhinagar, Shimoga, Ramanagar and three other local polls and now Udupi!

    The party lost its deposit in Bellary and Gandhinagar.

    If BJP chamchas on this website cannot see the writing on the wall (in this case on Churmuri) I feel sorry for them.

    Women of Karnataka who voted for BJP last time, wil turn in large number to vote against the Bluefilm Rajakeeeya of this party.

  12. sunil Says:

    2013 assemby results will be:

    BJP – 70-80
    Congress- 125-135
    JDS – 50 -60

    Possible chief minister candidates: SM Krishna, Oscar , verappa moily Kharge or siddaramaih

  13. Gouri Satya Says:

    Clever Yeddu! Perhaps he knew the outcome and hence stayed away from campaigning!

  14. richardw Says:

    @Sunil – SMK baralla bidi.. Partyli olage irovrge SMK baradu ishta illa. Idrella nu meere .. madam enaaru ‘yes’ andre.. aagbahudenopa…

  15. sanjeeva Says:

    MMM Sir, Could you please name one party, which does not indulge in antics and is pure as gold!

  16. harkol Says:

    Saif: Coastal Karnatka has been voting for BJP for a long long time (close to 3 decades now). But, the reasons you suggested are superficial.

    Dakshina Kannada district borders on Kerala, and the only muslim majority district in South India is just a district away. Mangalore being the biggest city to those folks, there has been massive influx of folks to the city.

    That has changed demographics between 1960 – 2000s. Minority population in Mangalore used to be less than 20%, and at last census it was closer to 40%. Got to see what 2012 census will throw up. This has created a communally sensitive situation in the district.

    But, perhaps a chunk of voters are finally waking up to the folly of voting for a party continously without questioning their track record.

  17. Chandru Says:

    Ground reality is that, BJP does not have any base in Karnataka. (Accept in coastal belt ) It came to power as a result of Vachana bhrasta kumaraswamy because of which Lingayats voted for yaddi. And also money power from Reddys, who were mastermind behind Operation Kamala.
    Irony is that, these sangha parivara people now cleverly cornered Lingayats and Reddys and are enjoying the power.
    Next election without Reddys and Lingayats, BJP will be in same old position of 18- 20 seats.

  18. Deepak Says:

    @Boochi – what logic? Where is the logic, I can’t see it, maybe you could shed some more light!!

    @Sunil, Hmm so the strength of the assembly will be increased to 245-275 to accommodate your preferred result :)

  19. Deepak Says:

    @Simple – Ok dear, all BJP chamchas in Karnataka will see the writing!! I hope Congress and Madam’s chamchas like you will also see the writing in Delhi …lol

  20. narayana, narayana! Says:

    Reply to Sunil:
    Have you factored in a breakaway party of the disgruntled to further split the votes and the seats and spoil the game-plan of the major parties who already are fearful of fractured franchise and hence want to make the most of the remaining period. “Hucchhu munde lagganadalli undavane jaana”

  21. DailyBread Says:

    Simple Sir,

    >Women of Karnataka who voted for BJP last time, wil turn in large number to vote against the Bluefilm Rajakeeeya of this party.

    For that to happen Superstar Mahipal Maderna’s party may have to project excellent ladies like Motamma or Margaret as CM candidates.


    >A plurality of 40,000 votes is not a landslide.

    I thought this is a simple commercial transaction. At 100 rupees a vote, two Toyota Fortuners should get you back these votes or at 1000 rupees a vote 3-4 Audi A8s will do the job. If Harkol’s observation is right about demographic changes in the area, we will start seeing IUML representatives from here in next 10-15 years. BTW, do you know we use to send an IUML MLA from our erstwhile district in 80s & 90s.

  22. bengloor Says:

    Here CAG disowns its own report amounting to lakhs of crores –

    Here CAG writes report for 300 odd crores specially sent by delhi
    bosses to keep him quiet.

    somehow they will make all south voices shut by using DVS as backstabber like they did with Anshuman Mishra.

    That is politics speciality of delhi scoundrels.

  23. kris Says:

    Justice Katju says 90% of Indians are fools, their minds are full of superstitions, communalism and casteism.- Hindustam Times link here –


    Who are the remaining 10%?

    In Karnataka, as ‘Chandru’ suggested they are ‘sangha parivara people now cleverly cornered Lingayats and Reddys and are enjoying the power.’?

  24. harkol Says:


    My numbers were given to me by an govt. officer.

    Here is what I could find in net – http://www.karnataka.gov.in/KMDC/Census2001.pdf

    It shows the minorities in Dakshina Kannada to be 31.37%. Highest in Karnataka. But, in mangalore town apparently it is about 40% minorities. I can’t find any data on the net though.

    This wasn’t the case about 50 years back. The biggest minority in Mangalore used to be Christians at around 7-8%. But, now muslims outnumber them perhaps by 3:1.

    Anyone from Mangalore will know this as it is very evident on the ground. But, Mind you, I am not saying it is wrong for Muslims to immigrate to Mangalore or that it is justified to vote for BJP because of such immigration.

    I am just pointing out the cause of tension.

  25. DailyBread Says:


    >My numbers were given to me by an govt. officer.

    Of course, as always your data & sources of data will be impeccable.

    >now muslims outnumber them perhaps by 3:1.

    Aha, the black swan moment has come & gone. I guess this is one more data point for Mr. Taleb.

    >Anyone from Mangalore will know this as it is very evident on the ground. But, Mind you, I am not saying it is wrong for Muslims to immigrate to Mangalore or that it is justified to vote for BJP because of such immigration.

    LOL, you don’t have to say anything. I know where you are coming from…….

    >I am just pointing out the cause of tension.

    Someone here wanted a Tulunadu. Demographically, I guess it will be exactly like Kerala. Go for it folks…..

  26. Boochi Says:

    @Deepak. Dude the logic is to view the 24,000 as a number and in context to the number of Votes the BJP lost from the last election, hope that makes sense.

  27. Deepak Says:

    @Boochi – sorry there’s no logic there!! How can one see 24,000 just as a number, when the writer clearly says its the number of freshly enrolled voters?

  28. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    For the sake of political support from the great unwashed masses, India was linguistically reorganised, which was a good thing in many ways, although the people of Kalyana Karnataka and Telangana may vocally disagree. It is now perhaps time to consider reorganising the country on a religious basis. Give each party a sectarian satrapy. Stability will reign supreme.

    While countries in the West have rapidly moved in the direction of shedding their Christian identity as a national cohesive force, we in India continue to hang on to tattered notions of caste and religion. How are we different from the regressive nations of the Middle East?

    Incidentally, when did Hindustan become an alternate name for the country?

  29. saddy Says:

    manglore style of functioning will not work. get out DVS.

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