Congress routed Modi led ruling BJP in Karnataka assembly elections 2023

 Congress wins 136 seats in the house of 224 while BJP finished behind with 65 seats

Indian national Congress (INC) has won a landslide victory against Modi led ruling BJP in Karnataka assembly elections 2023. The Congress won 136 seats in the house of 224 members. 113 seats required to gain simple majority to form the government. The congress has won comfortable majority in the assembly. The ruling BJP suffered crushing defeat as it could only managed to won 65 seats. BJP has lost the only state it was ruling in South India. The Junta Dal (JD Secular) won 19 seats.    

Congress has gained 56 seats in this election. In the last election in 2019, congress had won 80 seats. The BJP has lost 39 seats it won in last elections. BJP had won 104 seats in 2019 elections.

The JD(S) has lost 18 seats. The congress is the major beneficiary of the decline of both BJP and JD-S.

It is a resounding victory for struggling congress. The grand old party was once the most dominating political force in India and ruled India for more than 40 years. This victory will give more confidence to congress as the main opposition party nationally against ruling BJP. Congress has won second state in 2023. Now it is ruling in 4 states.

It is big defeat for BJP before the next general elections next year. It has lost the only state it was ruling in South India. BJP lost badly in Kerala, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu state assembly elections. BJP is now out of power from all the South Indian states. Even the campaigning of Indian PM Modi has failed to revive the BJP. Modi addressed several rallies in Karnataka but failed to lift the party.

The election in Karnataka was mainly fought on local issues like corruption, unemployment and bad governance of BJP led government state government. The BJP failed to deliver the promises it made during the last elections.  The rampant corruption and soaring youth unemployment played important role in the defeat of BJP. The youth unemployment rate is around 23 percent. Congress made the promise to provide INR 3,000 per month to unemployed graduates for two years.

 Congress fully capitalizes on anti-incumbency factor in the state. BJP tried to use Hindutawa and anti-Muslim rhetoric in the campaign. The BJP state government introduced the Hijab ban for Muslim students in educational institutions to please the extreme rightwing Hindu nationalists. This decision turned away the Muslim voters from BJP.      

                                                                         Khalid Bhatti 

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