Defeat in Karnataka elections may weaken BJP at national level

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To say that Basavaraj Bommai became the Chief Minister but his government was working completely under the control of BS Yeddyurappa. Basavaraj Bommai’s image as Chief Minister became that of a weak leader. Due to which corruption had reached its peak in the state.

The assembly elections held in Karnataka will be considered an important event for the country’s politics. This election can change the direction and condition of the country’s politics. In the Karnataka elections where the voters wiped out the ruling BJP. On the other hand, the Congress party has been given a new lease of life by winning it with a bumper majority. The charismatic personality of BJP’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is running the government at the Center intoxicated by continuous victory, has also suffered a severe blow from this assembly election result. Till now it is believed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the ability to convert defeat into victory due to his charismatic personality. But even after campaigning day and night and road shows of hundreds of kilometers in Karnataka, his charismatic personality has weakened due to the crushing defeat in the elections.

The voters of Karnataka have completely rejected the politics of manipulation. That is why after a long time the way has been paved to form a stable government by giving a huge majority to the Congress party. So that the government can do all-round development of the state. Along with this, even after being away from the majority last time, the BJP has been severely punished by the voters for toppling the Congress and Janata Dal Secular governments and forming their own government through manipulation and horse-trading. The voters of Karnataka have told that they will not support any such party which breaks the MLAs and topples the working government in the state and forms the government of their party.

This time the election of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly will be considered special in many ways. The voters of Karnataka have handed over the key to power to the Congress by giving 135 seats out of 224 assembly seats as well as 42.88 percent i.e. one crore 67 lakh 89 thousand 272 votes. At the same time, the BJP, which has been ruling the state till now, has been shown the way out of power by giving only 36 percent votes i.e. one crore 40 lakh 96 thousand 529 votes with 66 seats. On the other hand, the Janata Dal Secular Party, which is considered to be the third force in the state so far, has got only 18 seats, 13.29 percent i.e. 52 lakh five thousand 489 votes. Till now the key to create and destroy power in state politics was in the hands of Janata Dal Secular. Which the voters have snatched this time and made the position of Janata Dal Secular very weak.

This time Congress got 26 lakh 92 thousand 743 votes more than BJP. Due to which Congress got more than double the seats than BJP. However, in the 2018 assembly elections also, the Congress got six lakh 64 thousand 247 votes more than the BJP. Despite that, the Congress was left with only 80 seats. Whereas BJP was successful in winning 104 seats. But this time the situation has completely reversed. Congress has won 69 seats more than BJP by taking 26 lakh more votes in this election, which is a record.

Even before the Karnataka assembly elections, people who knew politics were feeling that this time the key to power is not going to come in the hands of BJP. In 2018, HD Kumaraswamy of Congress, Janata Dal Secular became the Chief Minister. Since then the BJP had started trying to overthrow his government. The BJP toppled the Kumaraswamy government by getting the Congress, JDS MLAs to resign, and on July 26, 2019, BS Yeddyurappa of the BJP took over as the chief minister. Two years later Basavaraj Bommai of BJP became the Chief Minister. Whose tenure was less than 2 years.

To say that Basavaraj Bommai became the Chief Minister but his government was working completely under the control of BS Yeddyurappa. Basavaraj Bommai’s image as Chief Minister became that of a weak leader. Due to which corruption had reached its peak in the state. The contractors doing the contracts in the Karnataka government accused the ministers and officials of the Bommai government of passing the bill by taking 40 percent commission. Due to which the image of the corrupt government was created in the common people. All the ministers were doing their own thing. At the same time, the officers were also not under control. The central leadership of the BJP was also completely successful in establishing good governance in Karnataka.

Shortly before the assembly elections, Prashant Kumar, son of BJP MLA Madan Virupakshappa, was caught red-handed taking a bribe of 40 lakhs. Prashant Kumar was taking bribe in the name of his father who was the chairman of Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited. Prashant Kumar himself is the Chief Accountant Officer in the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board. Prashant Kumar was caught red-handed by the Lokayukta officials while accepting a bribe of 40 lakhs in his father’s office. The image of the BJP was also tarnished by this incident.

In this election, the Hindutva model of BJP and the slogan of Bajrang Bali ki Jai also did not work. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath campaigned on 9 assembly seats. Out of which BJP lost 7 seats. Apart from BS Yeddyurappa, there was no big local leader in the BJP whose name could garner votes. At the same time, the Congress had given a big message to the voters of Karnataka by making Mallikarjun Kharge the national president. Mallikarjun Kharge campaigned fiercely in the Karnataka elections. Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and State Congress President DK Shivakumar had kept the command of the entire election in their hands. The voters of Karnataka did not accept his appeal even as most of the BJP’s star campaigners were from North India.

Denying the ticket of former chief minister and senior Lingayat leader Jagadish Shettar in the elections also cost the BJP dearly. Denied ticket from the BJP, Shettar joined the Congress and contested from Hubli. Although he himself lost the election, his leaving the party cost the BJP many seats. On the lines of Gujarat, tickets of many senior leaders were also cut in Karnataka. Most of these leaders rebelled against the party and entered the election field and played an important role in defeating the BJP candidates.

The Karnataka election results have once again provided a golden opportunity for the anti-BJP parties to unite on a common platform. Anti-BJP parties are beginning to feel that the way the Congress has defeated the BJP in Karnataka. Similarly, BJP can be defeated in the assembly elections to be held in many states including Telangana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. By winning in Karnataka, the morale of Congress will be many times stronger than before. If the Congress party unites all the opposition parties and enters the election field in the coming elections, it will surely be successful in defeating the BJP everywhere. With the defeat in the Karnataka elections, the BJP has been completely wiped out from South India. The mass base of the BJP has started to weaken after the Karnataka elections. The BJP may have to bear the brunt of this in the upcoming elections as well.

Ramesh Sarraf Dhamora

(The author is a freelance journalist accredited by the Government of Rajasthan. His articles continue to be published in many newspapers of the country.)

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