As Karnataka Votes, Stakes High For BJP, Higher For Congress

As Karnataka Votes Today, Stakes High For BJP, Higher For Congress

A Congress win might be seen by the social gathering as an endorsement of flip to quota politics(Representational)

New Delhi:

Stakes are excessive for the BJP and better nonetheless for the Congress as folks vote to elect a brand new authorities in Karnataka on Wednesday following an intense and sometimes bitter marketing campaign that noticed the ‘entry’ of Lord Hanuman within the final leg of the electoral battle fought as a lot on problems with governance as on ideology.

If the Congress appeared to take the battle to the rival by elevating the pitch over alleged corruption beneath the BJP authorities headed first by BS Yediyurappa after which by Basavaraj Bommai with its excessive decibel “40 per cent sarkara” plank, the incumbent rode the “double engine” narrative to hunt one other time period to push Karnataka increased up the event chart.

The opposition social gathering has additionally provided 5 ensures, a bunch of welfare measures and sops, and promised to lift the overall reservation from the present 50 per cent to 75 per cent, a nod to its latest flip to the social justice plank wielded to this point by regional events.

However, it’s its two different manifesto guarantees – robust motion together with a ban on organisations like Bajrang Dal and already-proscribed radical Islamic physique PFI, and restoring the 4 per cent quota for Muslims – which have been seized by the BJP to ramp up its Hindutva plank within the hope of consolidating votes.

After the Congress manifesto launch on May 2, the BJP introduced each points to the centre stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself charging the opposition social gathering with searching for to “lock up” Lord Hanuman and those that chant slogans to his glory after earlier “locking up” Lord Ram.

As the slogan “Bajrang Bali ki Jai” turned ubiquitous in PM Modi’s rallies, different high BJP leaders launched an all-out assault on the Congress, accusing it of “politics of appeasement”.

Senior BJP chief BL Santhosh famous throughout the marketing campaign that it’s the Congress that launched the problem and his social gathering will certainly elevate it.

Congress leaders, nonetheless, consider that the BJP’s warfare cry is not going to have a lot resonance in a state the place Hindutva has not paid a lot electoral dividends outdoors the coastal area.

The view throughout the social gathering is that its promise of motion in opposition to Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of RSS-affiliated Vishwa Hindu Parishad, will assist it win over these sections of Muslims who’re favourably inclined to Janata Dal (Secular), which has maintained a strong presence in Old Mysuru area beneath the stewardship of former prime minister HD Deve Gowda.

The JD(S)’s robust presence within the area has been a key cause behind the state polls typically throwing up a hung verdict.

Experts consider that the Congress’ efficiency could have an enormous bearing on its heft in any seemingly opposition alliance as some regional satraps like West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal have typically aired their doubts about its power in countering the BJP because the social gathering misplaced one state after one other to the social gathering.

The social gathering additionally went all weapons blazing within the ballot marketing campaign, not like in lots of different state elections within the final a number of years, with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra canvassing extensively for weeks in Karnataka and Sonia Gandhi too becoming a member of in by addressing a uncommon public assembly.

Its octogenarian social gathering president Mallikarjun Kharge alongside together with his two senior Karnataka colleagues, former chief minister Siddaramaiah and state chief DK Shivakumar, made different key elements of aggressive electioneering.

A Congress win might be seen by the social gathering as an endorsement of its flip to quota politics after its repeated failure to nook the BJP, enhance its nationwide management, particularly Rahul Gandhi whose Bharat Jodo Yatra is on an electoral check, and convey it accountable for a resourceful huge state like Karnataka.

For the BJP, consultants consider, a win will add to the aura of invincibility across the social gathering and particularly PM Modi, who has been the entrance and centre of its marketing campaign, as retaining Karnataka is seen as a difficult ask. The state has by no means voted the incumbent social gathering to energy since 1985.

The social gathering has additionally taken the gambit of overlooking a number of senior leaders in its efforts to usher in a youthful and extra “disciplined” management and ease out entrenched veterans, with some like former chief minister Jagadish Shettar rebelling.

Voters’ alternative will resolve if the gamble has labored or failed for the social gathering.

A loss within the southern state could also be a setback to the BJP which fits to each election with excessive stakes however it might be famous that the BJP had did not get a majority within the 2018 polls and the Congress and the JD(S) joined palms to kind the federal government.

It had additionally misplaced meeting polls in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in that 12 months earlier than sweeping all these states, together with Karnataka, within the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Defections of opposition MLAs, largely within the Congress, introduced it to energy later in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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