Politics are changing at a greater speed these days particularly after the Telugu Desam Party severed ties with the BJP on the special category status demand for Andhra Pradesh. The change is visible in Karnataka with the Congress directly fighting the battle to retain its power, while the TDP is helping it against the BJP.
The BJP, with its national president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are currently on the electioneering in the State trying to woo the voters. The due did it in Tripura and have wrest the State from the Communists. Now, they want to repeat the victory in Karnataka while the Congress is putting up a brave fight.
There are no forces that can help the BJP to win in the South. Though the BJP had won the state once in the past, it appears difficult for the party to repeat the victory this time. Congress incumbent chief minister Siddharamaiah has a positive vote and there is no anti-incumbency for him for the second time. The Congress is leaving no stone unturned to retain power while the BJP is going to the extreme campaign level to wrest the State from Congress.
It is here the TDP from Andhra Pradesh is playing a crucial role. With a slogan of betrayal to the State, the TDP is going all out to defeat the BJP in Karnataka. Its leaders are campaigning in the Telugu-voters dominated pockets of the State against the BJP. Without asking the voters to support the Congress, the TDP leaders want them to defeat the BJP. This is working positively for the Congress.
Bellary region is different though it has majority Telugu people. The BJP candidates here, who are from the mining tycoon Gali Janardhana Reddy loyalists, have an edge not because of the BJP’s strength but because of their own hold. The TDP may not do much harm to the BJP here, but it is for sure, its campaign is likely to come as an advantage to the Congress in the pockets like Mysore and Bengaluru.
While TDP president Chandrababu Naidu had made an open appeal to the Telugu voters of Karnataka to defeat the BJP, its senior leader and deputy chief minister K E Krishna Murthy is camping in Karnataka monitoring anti-BJP campaign. It is to be seen how far this campaign would damage the electoral fortunes of the BJP in Karnataka.