BENGALURU: The resounding victory of the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) led by Nitish Kumar in Bihar has some pertinent lessons for major parties in Karnataka – the BJP, Congress and JD(S). While the verdict is a wake-up call to the BJP to rein in its hotheads, it’s also a message to Siddaramaiah to put the brakes on his Ahinda (Kannada acronym for minorities, backward classes and dalits) agenda and focus on good governance and development.

“The outcome of the Bihar polls should be an eye-opener for the Congress that one needs to deliver good governance and have a clean image to make a comeback.The verdict also suggests that you can’t win elections with narrow social and caste engineering,” political analyst Sandeep Shastri said.

Some experts also say the mandate was against “intolerance” and “hatred”.”The verdict is loud and clear. The voter is not prepared to allow political leaders to maroon him in the islands of social and caste identities, just as he would reject the vendors of communal divisiveness.He would walk away from parties that remain indifferent to the demands of good governance and development,” said Harish Ramaswamy, a political analyst from north Karnataka.

The result also has some lessons for the JD(S). Ramaswamy says the party leaders need to review their poll strategies since most elections in India henceforth are likely to be fought between the BJP and the Mahagathbandhan.

“The Congress would now be keen to replicate the Mahagathbandhan experiment nationally to take on the BJP. Even Siddaramaiah would have no choice but to take the JD(S) and other minor parties along with him to fight future polls, including the 2018 assembly elections,” a senior Congress leader said. The defeats in Delhi and Bihar may have made the BJP realize that electorates in states vote differently in Lok Sabha and assembly polls. “That way, former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, who is lobbying to head the state unit of the party, may have a better chance for a comeback,” a senior BJP leader said.

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Source: TOI-BGLR