The abrupt end to Karnataka’s latest coalition experiment, the reimposition of President’s Rule, the ratification of it by Parliament, and the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly pave the way for fresh elections in the State. Originally due only in May 2009, the mid-term polls, in all likelihood, will be held about a year in advance. The simple question is: which party will most likely win the next Assembly elections in Karnataka? Or, if a single party fails to win a majority on its own, which combination of parties will occupy the gaddi at the Vidhana Soudha next?
Will the JDS be wiped out of existence because of its “worst-ever betrayal”? Or will the public’s short memory come to its help? Will the BJP, which has not been tested, be able to sustain the sympathy wave for another six months so as to encash it at the hustings? Or will a fresh round of internecine warfare between its leading lights curtail its performance? Does the Congress stand any chance of benefitting from the fracas? Will either the Congress or BJP join hands with the “untouchable” JDS given its behaviour and record?
What are the factors that will influence the elections? And what is most likely to be the seat share in the 224-member House for the three parties? In 2004, it was BJP 79, Congress, 64, JDS 58.