The many twists and turns in the Karnataka election results kept Twitter users on their toes on Tuesday. In the morning, based on early leads, the Bharatiya Janata Party looked likely to win a majority in the state. This came after a pitched battle between the top leaders of the Congress and the saffron party in the southern state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi held highly publicised rallies during the campaign.
The fact that the BJP looked set to win Karnataka despite Gandhi’s best efforts inspired many jokes about Modi and BJP President Amit Shah’s victory streak and the Congress president’s dismal election record.
As congratulatory messages poured in, it seemed as if the BJP had pulled off yet another electoral win and the party had started blaming the media for having predicted a hung assembly, with no clear verdict in any one party’s favour.
Leaders from other political parties too joined in, congratulating the BJP.
But by afternoon, news broke that the Congress had approached the Janata Dal (Secular) about forming a post-poll alliance, which would likely give the combine the majority in the 122 member house. At 5 pm, according to the Election Commission of India, the BJP was leading in 104 seats, the Congress in 78 and Janata Dal in 37.
The Janata Dal later indicated that it had accepted the Congress’ offer and that HD Kumaraswamy, the son of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, would be its chief ministerial candidate if the alliance comes to power. All eyes are on Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala now, who has to invite one of the parties to form the government.
The Janata Dal’s enviable position and the BJP’s possible efforts to woo the party’s MLAs to counter the Congress inspired fuelled the imagination of Twitter users.
The rapid developments in the state also prompted many to compare the elections to an exciting match and the sudden change of fortunes for the BJP prompted jokes at its expense.
Irrespective of what happens, one party seems to have emerged the clear winner according to Twitter users: resort owners. To prevent defection or shore up support, parties often sequester their MLAs in resorts, effectively isolating them.
Despite the uncertainty, several Twitter users expressed cynicism that the BJP will find a way to come to power in Karnataka even if they seem to be on the backfoot at present, given their electoral track record.
As Twitter user Rofl Gandhi put it (albeit in politically incorrect terms), the battle isn’t over yet.