Election victory in Karnataka and Himachal has proved to be a new lifeline for the Congress party which is facing continuous defeat.

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After Mallikarjun Kharge became the National President of the Congress, the Congress has won first in Himachal and then in Karnataka. Due to which the threat of his leadership ability has also started to be heard. Although Karnataka is the home state of Mallikarjun Kharge.

The leaders of the Congress party are seen full of enthusiasm these days. After the victory in the Karnataka assembly elections, his enthusiasm is visible. Earlier in December, the Congress had won the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections. In both the states of Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh, the Congress won the elections by defeating the BJP government. This has also boosted the morale of Congress workers. The benefit of which can be given to the Congress party in the upcoming assembly elections of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

After 2014, the electoral victory in Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh has proved to be a new lifeline for the Congress party, which has been facing defeat after defeat. Now Congress has formed government in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka. In Jharkhand, Bihar and Tamil Nadu, the Congress is part of the ruling coalition. If seen in this way, Congress is ruling in seven states of the country. The Congress was badly defeated in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. After that, the Congress did not get much success even in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. During this, the Congress party was out of power after losing in the assembly elections of many states. In such a situation, the Congress winning Karnataka with a huge majority is no less than a boon for the party.

After Mallikarjun Kharge became the National President of the Congress, the Congress has won first in Himachal and then in Karnataka. Due to which the threat of his leadership ability has also started to be heard. Although Karnataka is the home state of Mallikarjun Kharge. Where he has done politics for many decades. Kharge is aware of every region and every situation in Karnataka. The benefit of which he also got in formulating the strategy for the assembly elections in Karnataka. Mallikarjun Kharge wanted to become the Chief Minister of Karnataka for years. This time being the National President, he had a golden opportunity to become the Chief Minister. But he thought it appropriate to remain in the politics of the center and made his son Priyank Kharge a minister in the state government.

The victory in the assembly elections in Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh has boosted the morale of the leaders of the Congress party. Along with this, Congress will also get the benefit of Rajya Sabha seats in both the states in the coming times. In Karnataka, the Congress has secured a huge majority. In such a situation, their Rajya Sabha seats will also increase to more than double. Along with this, Congress will also get the benefit of many seats in the Karnataka Legislative Council.

Marginalized in the politics of the opposition in the country, the Congress party has come to the central role in the opposition politics after the victory in the Karnataka elections. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had organized a meeting of all the anti-BJP political parties of the country in Patna on 12th June. In which Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi expressed their inability to attend. For that reason, Nitish Kumar postponed the meeting of June 12 and is organizing it on June 23 instead. The Congress party has been able to do this only because of its victory in Karnataka.

Nitish Kumar, who is trying to unite the opposition parties in the country, has also come to know very well that it is not only difficult but impossible to bring the anti-BJP parties on a single platform without the Congress. That is why Nitish Kumar himself has come to Delhi and personally met Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and appealed to end the opposition unity. The Congress party has been running the UPA coalition for years. In which a large number of opposition parties are involved.

However, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal, Telangana Chief Minister and Bharat Rashtra Samithi President K Chandrasekhar Rao, BSP President Mayawati, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy Like leaders are avoiding Congress even today. All these leaders have a wide mass base in their respective states. In states like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Congress is in direct competition with the ruling parties there. Because of this, it is difficult for the Congress to reach an agreement with the ruling regional parties there.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had also said recently that Congress should not contest elections in the state where regional parties have influence. In such a situation, the Congress will be confined to a very small area. Countering this, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary, leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party in the Lok Sabha, had refused to forge any alliance with Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress party.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is also seeking Congress support in the Rajya Sabha against the central government. But many senior Congress leaders have opposed giving any kind of support to Arvind Kejriwal. Congress leaders say that Kejriwal is getting stronger by grabbing Congress votes. Congress leaders are also putting forward the name of Rahul Gandhi for the post of Prime Minister in the alliance of anti-BJP parties. Congress leaders say that even today their party is the largest party in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. He has influence in most of the states of the country. In such a situation, if all the opposition parties together defeat the BJP, then Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will be the most suitable candidate for the post of Prime Minister. If the opposition party agrees on this, then we can come together.

The way the election campaign in Karnataka was conducted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Even after that, the Congress party had won a big victory. Since then, the opposition parties have started feeling that the glamor of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now on the decline. In such a situation, if a strong contender is fielded in front of him for the post of Prime Minister, he can be easily defeated. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi can be the strongest candidate of the opposition in front of Prime Minister Modi. Now it has to be seen what decision will be taken in the meeting of opposition parties to be held in Patna on June 23 and how much change will be possible in the politics of the country from that meeting. The matter of opposition unity will depend on that only.

Political analysts believe that anti-BJP parties should brainstorm on defeating the BJP by not discussing the face of the Prime Minister till the Lok Sabha elections. Only then the opposition parties will be able to unite in the election field and assure the people of the country that if the BJP loses, then the country will get a strong and durable government from the opposition parties.

Ramesh Saraf 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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