Outlook – July 28, 2019

(Axel Boer) #1
by Preetha Nair in Delhi,
Ajay Sukumaran in Bangalore,
G.C. Shekhar in Chennai


he news from across the
Vindhyas so far hasn’t been
heartening to the BJP—except
in Karnataka, where a political
cliffhanger is playing out, close
behind the party’s near-sweep
in Lok Sabha polls. Chairing a
mee ting of the BJP’s key leaders last
month, Union home minister Amit
Shah said the party’s success story
would be complete only when it

conquers the region south of the Vin-
dhyas that has been largely elusive to
the saffron brigade for many years.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka muddle
is brimming with sub-plots, much
of which is of the discordant JD(S)-
Congress coalition’s own making,
though aided by a BJP impatient
to form the government.
Though it is the single largest party
in Karnataka’s assembly, the numbers
needed for the BJP to wrest power
seemed a bit out of reach until July
when, suddenly, 16 ruling coalition
MLAs brought the H.D. Kumara­

swamy government to a precarious
perch. CM Kumaraswamy recently
tweeted the flight manifest of a
charter aircraft as proof that BJP men
had been escorting Congress legis­
lators to Mahara shtra, where rebel
MLAs had been holding out ahead of
the vote of confidence in the
Karnataka assembly.
The BJP’s growth in Karnataka
began much before the Modi­Shah era,
but the recent Lok Sabha results—in
which the party bagged 25 of the 28
seats—were its best ever. Compare
this with the BJP’s overall southern


Pushing Pushing


India’s ruling party has pulled all stops
in its mission to shed the northern tag by
conquering the lands across the Vindhyas

12 OutlOOk 29 july 2019

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