Which leader’s campaign helped his party more?
The recently concluded assembly elections to the southern state of Karnataka has been quite a high profile one with massive rallies being undertaken by representatives of various parties. While the Congress got its president Rahul Gandhi to campaign across several constituencies in the state, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to campaign in the state.
Amidst all the barbs traded between the parties, that included heated debates on the ‘North vs South’ issue, the controversy over alleged Hindi imposition and more, Modi addressed several constituencies where the response was huge, with reports suggesting that the audience asked the translator to stop and decided to hear the Prime Minister speak in Hindi.
So what came of these rallies? Did they work in favour of the parties in question, or did they backfire? Initial trends suggested that the Congress was trailing in the seats where its president campaigned.
The Congress president visited Hospet, Koppal, Yadgir, Raichur, Kalaburgi, and Tumkur as part of his campaign. Hospet falls under the Bellary district. The Bellary constituency saw the Congress edge the BJP by a slim margin of less than 3,000 votes while Bellary City went to the BJP with a margin of more than 16,000 votes.
Koppal saw the Congress win by a margin of 25,000 votes, while in Gulbarga (Kalaburgi), the BJP has won in the Gulbarga Rural and Gulbarga Dakshin seats. The Congress has taken the Gulbarga Uttar seat. The BJP won in Yadgir by a margin of nearly 13,000 votes. The Congress managed to win the Raichur Rural seat while the Raichur came under BJP’s control. In Tumkur, the party came a distant third in the rural seat after the JD(S) and the BJP, while it maintained the same position in Tumkur City with the BJP winning the seat and the JD(S) securing the second position.
Prime Minister Modi held six rallies between 1 and 3 May that saw him visit Chamarajanagara, Udupi, Belagavi, Kalaburgi, Bellary and Bengaluru.
While the status of Kalaburgi and Bellary seats are known, Chamarajanagara saw the Congress win by a margin of nearly 4,000 votes with the BJP coming in second. The coastal town of Udupi saw the BJP win by a margin of nearly 12,000 votes while the nearby constituencies of Mangalore City North, Mangalore City South and Bhatkal saw the BJP win with a margin of at least 12,000. The Mangalore seat was won by the Congress by a margin of 19,000.
The state capital of Bengaluru saw a three way contest with the BJP leading in 14 constituencies, the Congress in nine and the rest falling into the hands of the JD(S).