Karnataka, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s sole fortress in India’s south, was finally taken away today when the Congress won a landslide majority in the Karnataka state assembly election. Out of a total of 224 seats, the Congress won 136 seats, the largest vote percentage in 34 years, while the BJP won 65, Janata Dal (Secular) won 19, and others won 4.


Karnataka Assembly Election 2023 results (Source: ECI)


The Nagaland Congress hopes that the victory will morally bolster the state Congress as ‘South India is BJP-mukt’ (South India is BJP-free) and ‘Waning Modi Wave’ becomes popular phrases among Congress supporters. It may be recalled that PM Modi held rallies and shows in Karnataka in the run up to the assembly election, similar to how he rallied in Gujarat.


“Karnataka voted out the corrupt government,” NPCC President Supongmeren Jamir told Mokokchung Times, adding that it will raise the morale of the state Congress workers.


Former NPCC President K Therie stated that the BJP was “overconfident” with their “double engine” which has now “crashed hitting the back of the fore engine.”


“Karnataka verdict has signaled the downfall of the BJP,” Therie stated, recalling that Modi, Shah, JP Nadda, and all the senior leaders of the BJP spent over a month in Karnataka disregarding all other pressing concerns, including Manipur.


“The Karnataka verdict has caused a deep impression in the ocean of Indian politics. The watch is over. There will be change in the Nation,” Therie remarked.


NPCC President Supongmeren Jamir also stated that the Karnataka outcome is ‘only a step’ and will have an impact on Lok Sabha 2024, and hoped that Nagaland voters will learn from how people in other states fought corruption and voted for development.


Jamir stated that 30 youths in the state joined the Congress party just yesterday, and that the Karnataka outcome has proved that the state Congress leaders require ‘teamwork and must get to the grassroots’ since, in the end, it is the grassroots voters who decide the outcome of elections.


The victory of the Congress in Karnataka has revived the discussion over a “united front and local strong leaders,” which political observers say was missing in the BJP. After replacing former CM Yediyurappa with Basavaraj Bommai as Chief Minister, the BJP fielded 52 fresh faces while struggling to establish a strong local leader.


Meanwhile, Congress emphasized “local leaders, local issues” and featured prominent figures such as Yathindra Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar. Simultaneously, the Congress party high command continued to make efforts to persuade its warring leaders in states to present a united front in elections.


“The Karnataka State Election was one of the most important gateways to Lok Sabha 2024, and the people of Karnataka have proven that the Congress is the only party that can build the future of India,” stated Thomas Konyak, a Congress candidate for Nagaland assembly election 2023.


“As a result of Congress’ zealous anti-corruption campaign, such as 40% Sakara and Pay CM coupled with price increases and rise in unemployment… Karnataka voters cast votes based on such issues. This victory will provide a morale boost for upcoming state assembly elections prior to the 2024 Lok Sabha election,” stated Lima, president of the Nagaland Pradesh Youth Congress.


Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, and Mizoram will go to polls before the 2024 Lok Sabha election.


However, Karnataka has a history of voting differently for the State Assembly and the Lok Sabha, and pundits believe PM Modi’s popularity is only growing; hence, whether this victory will benefit the Congress party in the Lok Sabha in 2024 remains doubtful.


Meanwhile, the one downer in the Congress’ win celebrations in Karnataka is the imminent Siddaramaiah against DK Shivakumar tussle for the office of chief minister – one a previous chief minister and the other the state Congress chief.


According to party spokespersons, the Congress High Party Command will choose the next Chief Minister on Sunday. The BJP’s Basavaraj Bommai resigned as Karnataka chief minister on Saturday, only hours after the Bharatiya Janata Party lost the legislative elections.


Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the Congress party for its win and thanked BJP workers for working hard on the party’s campaign.


NPCC former president Therie also congratulated the people of Karnataka for standing firm against corruption and lies.


“The defeat is a clear indication that the people are tired and fed up with mere ‘Mann ki Baat’ without action,” he added.

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