New Delhi (IANS) Today's bypolls to 15 Assembly constituencies in Karnataka are important on more than one count for the BJP and Congress alike. It is the only major state down south where the two national parties are in primary candidates for power.
While the results will obviously impact the future of the only Bharatiya Janata Party government in south India, the implications of 'Team Yeddy' not gaining a clear mandate of at least six seats and retaining power in the Assembly can result in a Maharasthra type of situation.
In Maharashtra, the unthinkable happened when the BJP's longtime ally the Shiva Sena joined hands with the NCP and Congress to keep the BJP out of the office. It is precisely this type of domino effect that can turn out to be the BJP's nightmare, after a series of losses in major states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh.
In the state, the bypolls are important for the saffron camp because the results will decide the future of the BJP government in Karnataka which currently has 105 legislators and one independent MLA's support in the 225 member strong Assembly. The BJP must win at least six seats today if it fancies its chances of continuing in power in the lone south Indian state it holds power in.
The results of today's bypolls are also important for the Congress which has been waking up to a revival of its political fortunes, especially after the recent developments in Maharashtra. It's love-hate relation-ship with the Janata Dal(S) will come into focus if they win more than nine seats between them in today's bypolls. In such a scenario, the BJP can possibly staring at a possible exit from the government.
Meanwhile, as D-day descended upon Karnataka, voting began early Thursday morning as scheduled and is proceeding on a sedate note in all the 15 Assembly constituencies. By 9 a.m. voting turnout was slightly above six per cent. Reports of EVM glitches holding up voting are coming in from a few places but on the whole polling is going on smoothly.
Of the 15 constituencies going to polls today, 12 were held by Congress while JD(S) was representing two seats. Today's elections were necessitated on account of the disqualification of 17 legislators belonging to the Congress and JD(S) who had cast their lot with the Yeddiurappa dispensation. Bypolls to two Assembly seats, Maski and R.R. Nagar will be held later.