Congress, 2nd to BJP, falls short of a majority. Here are 10 things to know

karnataka | 15 May 2018 9:07 AM (UTC)
sabyasachi s
Highlights

The Karnataka election result is a colossal failure for Rahul Gandhi, who was promoted to Congress president a few months ago.

As the election results roll out the BJP comes into being the single largest party with the Congress facing a severe defeat despite various efforts made by the party president Rahul Gandhi. 

An election that has set the tone for the national election next year, Karnataka has voted for change as the BJP has won a single majority in the state. Narendra Modi has proved it on the battleground yet again as Karnataka voted out Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. The party now runs 21 out of 29 states in the country. This has proven a major fail for newly elected president of Indian National Congress, Rahul Gandhi. 

Let us have a look at the ten reasons why this election turned out this way. 

1. Congress President, Rahul Gandhi led the campaign for his party in Karnataka. The state had not seen a successive government is 30 years. Rahul had visited various Temples and Maths around the state and had rallied 14 other constituencies. He was accused by critics of promoting " Soft Hindutva " sentiment in order to appeal to the larger Lingayat vote bank. 

2. Modi was later accused by Rahul Gandhi of playing cheap politics for getting at Sonia at his rallies for talking about Sonia Gandhi's  Italian origin. Mr. Modi later replied by saying that Mr. Gandhi is not quite known for his oratory skills and hence he is welcomed to try Italian at his rallies is he feels comfortable. 

3. The election results and the BJP victory over the state is a rejoinder to various opinion and exit polls. The idea that Rahul Gandhi has finally moved from being a political hobbyist to a careerist has been completely decimated.  

4. In December of 2017 during the Gujrat elections, the Congress had given the BJP a good fight and had set the tone in the state. We had seen a more mature Rahul Gandhi who had vastly improved after he took on Mr. Modi head-on with issues such as scarcity of jobs for the youth and farmers distress. 

5. Following the Gujrat elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party was terribly humiliated after losing by-elections in Rajasthan and Madya Pradesh and losing the Gorakhpur constituency in Uttar Pradesh, the home of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Though the loss in Gorakhpur is not attributed to the Congress but was a result of a coalition by Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati. 

6. Mr. Gandhi with his regular congress tactics allowed Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to take key decisions for the campaign and the candidates for the southern state. Mr. Siddaramaiah's efforts in dividing Lingayat votes was very visible in the state as he had earlier promised them special category status. The BJP accused him of divisive politics and the community stuck to their party and voted for the BJP seen in the results. 

7. Mr. Siddaramaiah who was famous for his coalition called "AHINDA" which tied together Muslims, Backward castes, and Dalit vote bank. However, Schedule Cast and Tribes who had decided 62 out of 224 seats pulled back there support from the Congress this time. This has been attributed to the BJP candidate B Sriramula who is a tribal leader. 

8. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the Congress lost its chances by not allying with the JD(S) underlining the need for the opposition forces to ally against the BJP. A partnership of the Congress and the BJP would require clashes between Mr. Siddaramaiah and G T Deve Gowda to release tensions between them as Mr. Siddaramaiah left the JD(S) ten years ago to join the Congress. 

9. Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had campaigned extensively during the last week prior to the elections has been said by many analysts that the 2019 General Elections would be "Modi vs Nobody" due to high respect and goodwill that he carries in the public eye. 

10. Experts also say that reasons behind the Congress party losing in the state were due to the rural distress in the past few years caused by severe drought caused in the state. Southern farmers who heavily rely on the Cauvery water had only gotten relief in February after the supreme court had passed the order.  

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