INC’s victory in Karnataka ends BJP’s southern expedition

Following the INC's victory in Karnataka elections, the BJP lost its sole mantle in the southern territory, which it snatched in mid-2019.

INC's victory in Karnataka ended B Bommai's rule.

Basavraj Bommai and Siddaramaiah

The Indian National Congress (INC) has won a landslide victory in the Karnataka Assembly elections. The INC’s victory in Karnataka is seen as a major setback for the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and a battery of other stalwarts extensively campaigned in the sole southern province the party was ruling.

Out of a total of 224 seats, the INC won 136 at the end of the poll counting on Saturday, May 13th. The INC has managed to add 56 more seats to its kitty vis-à-vis its score in the 2018 Karnataka Assembly elections. The BJP managed to win 65 seats, 38 less than its 2018 tally.

The INC’s former ally, Janata Dal (Secular) [JD(S)] came a distant third with only 19 seats, 18 less than its 2018 score. JD(S) chief and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, who was aiming to become a kingmaker and broker a deal with either national party, is left shattered, as his party’s traditional vote bank has switched allegiance.

After a long series of ignominious defeats in assembly and national elections, the INC’s victory in Karnataka has boosted the morale of the grand old party, which still must go a long way as there is a reported rift within its ranks over the choice of the chief minister. Former chief minister Siddaramaiah and state INC chief DK Sivakumar have reportedly claimed the chair.

Following the INC’s victory in Karnataka, party officials, including the party’s chief Mallikarjun Kharge and former member of the Parliament (MP) Rahul Gandhi have congratulated the voters and described this victory as a mandate against the BJP’s alleged politics of hatred.

“The market of hate has been shut, and shops of love have opened”, Gandhi said on the INC’s victory in the Karnataka Assembly elections. He said that the poor people of Karnataka have defeated the “power of the crony capitalists”.

Crediting Gandhi’s south-to-north countrywide march named ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ (Connect India Rally) for the victory, Kharge said, “We have won almost 99% of the seats in the route in which Rahul Gandhi walked”.

Kharge said in a tweet that the INC will provide the 65m people of Karnataka with a transparent, accountable, people-friendly and welfare-oriented government.

For the INC, its victory in Karnataka will fuel its quest for the assembly elections scheduled later this year for crucial states like Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. It’s currently in power in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, while its government in Madhya Pradesh was toppled by the BJP, which engineered a coup in the party and split its members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) in 2020.

Prime Minister Modi congratulated his arch-rival INC for its victory in the Karnataka Assembly elections. “Congratulations to the Congress party for their victory in the Karnataka assembly polls. My best wishes to them in fulfilling people’s aspirations”, Modi tweeted.

He also thanked the voters of Karnataka who have voted for the BJP and his party’s activists. “I thank all those who have supported us (the BJP) in the Karnataka elections. I appreciate the hard work of BJP karyakartas (activists). We shall serve Karnataka with even more vigour in the times to come”, Modi tweeted.

Karnataka’s incumbent Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who managed to win for the fourth time in a row from the Shiggoan seat defeating the INC’s Yasir Ahmed Khan Pathan with a margin of 35,341 votes, conceded defeat and said that the BJP will analyse the reason behind its loss.

Former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, who was removed from the top position by the BJP’s top brass, said that there is nothing new in victory and defeat for the BJP. Yeddyurappa said he is conceding defeat and will analyse the cause of the party’s poor performance. It’s alleged that the BJP’s reluctance to provide the veteran leader with a top slot caused his Lingayat community’s vote to shift to the INC.

The incumbent BJP came to power in mid-2019, after it toppled the JD(S)-INC coalition government in the state, which was formed after the 2018 Karnataka elections. The BJP weaned away several MLAs from the coalition, reducing its number in the house below the majority mark of 113.

Several other Opposition camp members have expressed their happiness over the INC’s victory in Karnataka. They have claimed this as a mandate of the people against Modi’s policies and the BJP’s alleged communal politics. Most of the Opposition parties have been striving for an alliance against the BJP before the 2024 general elections.

Leave a comment
scroll to top