Karnataka Elections – Lost Deposits and Throne Games

Karnataka elections turned much interesting than we anticipated. BJP, at on point, reached 121 seats majority while counting but, slowly, it slid back to 104 seats. This created some things unprecedented. Congress sensed an opportunity and declared that HD Kumaraswamy will be made the Chief Minister. They went to the Governor but they were not permitted to meet – after all, the results are not formally out. Then, the drama began, with both the groups claiming right to power along with the usual slanders. The highlight of this is the conduct of HD Kumaraswamy, who acted as if he is cheated of his right to become the Chief Minister.

Let’s have a look at the numbers.

ECI gives losing deposit as

A defeated candidate who fails to secure more than one sixth of the valid votes polled in the constituency will lose his security deposit.

Considering the fact that JDS and BSP contested together, it makes much sense to add the 18 seats BSP contested as that of JDS. Of the 18 BSP contested, it has lost deposit in 17 and won 1.

The electoral numbers are as thus(source data was taken from ECI website).

Contested Won Lost Lost Deposit Adding Seats Not Contested % Vote
JDS+ 218 38 180 147 151 18.62%
INC 220 78 142 12 14 37.96%
BJP 222 104 118 36 36 36.21%

This is both interesting and disconcerting. A party which lost in 180 seats it contested and 151 seats where it effectively lost deposit(lost deposit plus seats not contested) has got the highest claim to form government? No. I will put the question as, what right has a party to form government, which has lost deposit in 151/222 seats for which elections are held? Stability, electoral politics, whatever, we need to seriously introspect on this point.


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