The two stalwarts of the Congress, DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah, have not been at loggerheads for a long time. But in this election the Congress leaders did not allow the discord to surface. Through five promises, youth and women were helped to break away from BJP. Bajram
After Himachal, the Congress has got its second success in Karnataka within six months. Congress has returned to power there with absolute majority. In politics, the gate of the south, the results of Karnataka can have an impact on the upcoming assembly elections and the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. This year elections are to be held in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh.
No party got absolute majority in Karnataka in the years 2004, 2008 and again in 2018. In 2013, the Congress formed the government by winning 122 seats. This time the seats and votes of the Congress increased significantly. On the issues of corruption and reservation, the Congress fiercely encircled the BJP-led government, raised questions on the issue of reservation. Also, five promises in the manifesto. The Congress managed to balance urban, semi-urban and rural areas and created a new math of Lingayat, Vokkaliga, Muslim, youth and women votes.
The two stalwarts of the Congress, DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah, have not been at loggerheads for a long time. But in this election the Congress leaders did not allow the discord to surface. Through five promises, youth and women were helped to break away from BJP. The Bajrang Dal issue helped polarize Muslim votes.
The Congress has increased its vote percentage by five percent. He got about 43 percent votes. The share of Janata Dal (Seku) has come down to 13 per cent. Region-wise, the BJP’s vote share decreased in many areas and the Congress got an advantage. Congress votes have increased in semi-urban and rural areas. The Congress got 44 and 46 percent votes in these areas. Whereas, BJP could get only 29.1 and 36.6 percent votes. On the other hand, in urban areas, the Congress got 43 per cent votes and the BJP 46.3 per cent.
The Congress increased its votes in all the five regions and captured three of them decisively. In the Mumbai/Kittur Karnataka and Central Karnataka regions, the Congress won 40 out of 62 seats with a vote share of 44.9 per cent, 20 more seats than in the 2018 assembly elections. BJP’s votes fell to 39.1 percent and 21 seats were reduced. Through leaders like Jagadish Shettar and Laxman Savadi, the Congress was able to break through the Lingayat stronghold of the BJP.
The Congress also performed well in South Karnataka and the Malnad region (including the old Mysuru region). In these, the party was profitable in 39 seats. The BJP did well in the Coastal Karnataka region. Out of these, BJP had a solid share of 49.1 percent in 14 seats. In the Bangalore region, the BJP was ahead of the Congress. 45% vs 41.4%, 16 vs 11 seats). Congress got the benefit of Amul vs Nandini controversy. The impact was clearly visible in the top five milk producing districts of Belagavi, Tumkur, Hassan, Mysuru and Mandya. Of the 54 seats in these five districts, the Congress won 29. In 2018, it had won 15 seats.
The Congress got the benefit of the internal fight of the BJP. Second, in the Karnataka elections, the BJP had decided to abolish the four per cent Muslim reservation and divide it among Lingayats and other sections, which reached the court. At the last moment, the Congress announced in the election manifesto to increase the scope of reservation from 50 percent to 75 percent. The promise of reservation gave a big advantage to the Congress.
From Lingayat voters to OBC Dalits supported the Congress. The Congress has also promised that the four per cent reservation for Muslims, which was abolished by the BJP, will be reintroduced. Due to this, Congress got the support of Muslims, while it also added Lingayat, Dalit and OBC voters.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge comes from Karnataka. The party made him the president, emotionally the Congress benefited from it. Kharge comes from the Dalit community of Karnataka. The party’s victory in Karnataka, which has 28 Lok Sabha seats, is being interpreted as symbolic ahead of the 2024 general elections.