Will Prakash Raj Help BJP Win From Bengaluru?

Actor Prakash Raj is a diehard Narendra Modi baiter. But, is he actually helping the BJP? Does his presence help divide the anti-BJP vote? Prakash Raj is very popular in Karnataka as an actor and has considerable following in Bengaluru city. By contesting the election, he would take many votes and thus weaken the anti-Modi votes in Bengaluru city.

The BJP had won all the three seats in Bengaluru - the North, South and the Central Bengaluru - effortlessly in 2014 riding on a pro-Modi wave. The BJP had got at least 6 lakh votes more than the Congress in the last elections. To break the Modi stranglehold, the JDS and the Congress have formed an alliance this time. They have shared the seats among themselves. As per the arrangement, the Congress will contest from 21 seats and the JDS from 7 seats. Thus, the Congress will contest from all the three seats. The anti-BJP front's calculation is that it has 13 MLAs, while the BJP has 9 and JDS 2 under the jurisdiction of Bengaluru. So, united, they can trounce the BJP. But, the alliance though formed, is yet to be firmed up. There are cracks in the alliance. The contest is particularly interesting in Bengaluru Central. Here the Congress lost by 1.37 lakh votes in 2014. But, this time around, the presence of Prakash Raj could affect the outcome. He would split the votes and nullify all the benefits of forming an alliance. Thus, there are chances that the JDS-Congress alliance is defeated again, not just by the BJP, but also by the split in the anti-BJP votes.