We all know now how the Karnataka elections went and how the Indian National Congress has not only been given a fresh lease of life, but a boost that even the party veterans had not dreamed about. The victory margin, the number of seats and the vote percentage that the Congress got in Karnataka, in the face of a thunderous campaign of the BJP, is quite impressive, to be modest, and extraordinary, to be fair.
The big takeaway from this is that the double-engine sarkar theory of the BJP might not work in every state. Also, campaigns by BJP super heavyweights, such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself and home minister Amit Shah, too may not have much sway in certain states. It was evident in West Bengal some time back, it was evident in Himachal Pradesh, now in Karnataka.
Also, it is time – against the backdrop of the Karnataka result – to look at the assembly elections that are scheduled this year, before the country goes into the general elections next year.
The states coming up for elections are: Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Telangana, possibly in that order.
Of these Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Telangana are critical for the general picture that could emerge around the country before the general elections. It is not the number of seats that will be crucial, though that is an important number, but these results will reflect upon the peoples’ minds before they vote at the main election circus.
A lot has been said, for example in Karnataka, that the people have clear divisions when voting for the state and voting for the country. It was seen that the people of Karnataka, as of now, would still vote for the BJP in the general elections. This is a sentiment that the Congress has to take seriously. There is no time for the Grand Old Party to rest on its laurels. There is a lot of work to do.
As for the BJP, it is time for some serious introspection. What went wrong in Karnataka? How can that be corrected? These are serious issues, because another major loss for the BJP just might have the people thinking differently as who they would vote for in 2024.
These are critical times for both parties.