The Congress party has stunned everyone by scoring a thumping win in Karnataka assembly election by defeating ruling BJP. With this saffron party has lost its lone southern citadel. The win will give the Congress party a much-needed morale boost ahead of the national election due next year. Karnataka was the first of five big states to go to the polls this year. The Congress’ decisive victory in the Assembly elections after an aggressive pro-poor campaign spearheaded by mass leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah and KPCC president D K Shivakumar also saw Karnataka continuing with a 38-year-old anti-incumbency trend. The Congress has returned to power on its own in Karnataka after 10 years.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had run a grueling campaign to help the BJP retain power in the state, addressing several rallies and roadshows within a span of 10 days. The BJP ran a very highly communally charged campaign led by none other than PM himself. Therefore, the victory is seen as rejection of communal politics by the people of Karnataka.
Even though Karnataka victory may not necessarily revive the fortune of Congress party but it will definitely lift the morale of the party workers across India and give them a sense of belief that BJP can be defeated. The Congress was once India’s most powerful party, governing India almost continuously – except for a few years – from independence in 1947 to 2014, when Mr Modi’s BJP swept to power by a landslide. Since then, the party has been striving to regain its lost political prominence. The results in Karnataka are also significant for the Congress as it comes less than two months after Mr Rahul Gandhi, its former president, was convicted for defamation and disqualified as a lawmaker.