Why Congress is finished in Karnataka

Congress has made a huge mistake. They are going to pay dearly for this. They might actually never recover from this.

The scenario is very simple to understand. Nobody seriously believes that Congress (78 seats) is going to support JDS (37 seats) for a full five-year term. At some point or the other, the Congress’ greed will get the better of its judgement and it will pull down the government.

Guess what happens then? The Congress will face a backlash from the Vokkaligas for pulling down Kumaraswamy’s government. The Lingayats are already furious with the Congress. Between the Lingayat belt in the north of Karnataka and the Vokkaliga belt in the south, the Congress will be crushed.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

In effect, Congress is riding a tiger that it cannot get off. But it will have to jump at some point and then the tiger is going to eat them.

The Congress actually started the Karnataka election well, with a decent plan of action. The JDS had been out of power for 10 years and being a small regional party with very limited resources, it seemed like their days were numbered. The Congress plan was to destroy the JDS completely in its home base and take control of the Old Mysore region. An expeditionary measure was also undertaken in Northern Karnataka to try and divide the Lingayat vote.

Both plans flopped and miserably so.  The Lingayats polarized against the attempt to divide Hindus. And in the Old Mysore region, the Congress has now revived the JDS. The image of Kumaraswamy has now been bolstered to become the face of the state. The Congress is divided between Siddaramaiah, Parameswara and Kharge. Even if they wanted to project a Congress face to keep Kumaraswamy from monopolizing the stage, they won’t be able to agree on one.

Here is a basic rule of politics. Never give up your pole position. You may never get it back.

Long years ago, the BJP made this mistake in Uttar Pradesh, after the elections of 2002. That year, the Samajwadis emerged as the largest party, winning 143 seats. The BSP won 98 seats and the BJP 88 seats.

Desperate to hold on to (the appearance of) power in Uttar Pradesh at any cost, the BJP offered the CM post to Mayawati.

By the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had melted down in Uttar Pradesh. By 2007 Assembly elections, the BJP had practically ceased to matter in Uttar Pradesh elections, which became a BSP vs SP affair. First Mayawati won a majority in 2007 and then Mulayam won a majority in 2012. The BJP was reduced to a mere onlooker.

Today the BJP is back in Uttar Pradesh, thanks to the turnaround scripted by Modi-Shah. But for 12 years, the BJP was nowhere in the state. The pole position that it surrendered in 2002 would never have come back, except for Modi-Shah.

Does the Congress dynasty really have it in its genes to perform that kind of an electoral miracle in Karnataka?

In another large southern state, the Congress has now agreed to play second fiddle to a regional party. It is only a matter of time before the Congress becomes a small supporting party in Karnataka to Kumaraswamy’s JDS. The Congress has been down this path before, becoming a support party for Samajwadis in Uttar Pradesh, Lalu Yadav in Bihar and Hemant Soren in Jharkhand.

I would call on BJP supporters to understand the real meaning of “Congress Mukt Bharat.” There is a difference between defeating the Congress in a state and making a state “Congress mukt.”

“Congress mukt” does not mean Congress living on as the main opposition. For instance, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh have seen the Congress lose repeatedly to the  BJP. But these states can hardly be considered “Congress mukt.”

Indeed, “Congress mukt” means that the Congress is neither in a position to form the government nor become the opposition. And from this point of view, what happened yesterday is actually a step forward towards Congress mukt Bharat. A JDS government with BJP as the main opposition is more “Congress mukt” than a BJP government with Congress as the main opposition.

And Mamata Banerjee was the first to recognize this reality. Her tweet on this has been absolutely vicious:

Untitled.png

Congress was third in line (technically even 4th) to be congratulated. She made it a point not to mention Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy by name AND not to mention Rahul by name. And just in case somebody still didn’t catch the drift, she spelt out that it’s a victory for the “regional front.”

In the days to come, such humiliation for the Congress will mount. The Congress for its part seems to be willing to swallow it. And when somebody is willing to offer concessions, in the relentlessly competitive sphere of Indian politics, they can expect to be taken to the cleaners.

Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.

Share and Support:
Support OpIndia by paying for content

Most read articles recently

Loans waived by Congress govt in MP, but here are the ‘conditions apply’ that farmers should see

One of the main poll promises in the run-up to 2018 elections was farmer loan waiver. Rahul Gandhi and all Congress leaders harped on farmer loan waiver.

Ghaziabad: Stray dog, mother of five puppies, raped and dragged to death by Nafees and Tauseef

Nafees, one of the accused, has reportedly confessed to the crime of raping the animal several times before dragging her through the streets

‘I was a communist, but I fail to understand how talking about Hindus becomes ‘communal’: Hadiya’s father joins BJP

He said that he was a communist since childhood but of late the party is playing dirty vote-bank politics eyeing minority votes.

PM Modi makes a big announcement: 99% items to soon fall under 18% GST slab or lower

"Today, GST system has been established to a large extent and we are working towards a position 99% things would attract the sub- 18% slab", said Prime Minister Narendra Modi

No Rajdeep, there is no reason to thank Imran Khan for the homecoming of Hamid Ansari. Here is why

Rajdeep Sardesai has time and again proved himself to be a master of quackery

Read excerpts of Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge led PAC report slamming HAL for delay in projects while Rahul indulged in politicking

PAC, led by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge severely criticised HAL for the delay in projects while Rahul Gandhi accused PM Modi of 'taking away projects from HAL'

IT magnate Narayana Murthy and ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala root for Modi government in 2019

Narayan Murthy and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala both have praised Modi government’s policies in the last 4.5 years of governance

Surging India: PM Modi sets up the tone for 2019 campaign? Lists how India has developed a lot since 2014

PM Modi was giving the keynote address at Republic TV summit where he put forward his government's achievements in last four years

Hadiya’s father’s fate awaits all Hindus if they don’t wake up to cultural challenges

The denial of the mainstream narrative of Hindu concerns will spiral the country into a hub of communal politics.

After spreading negativity during Diwali, Times Now is in a festive mood during Christmas

Times Now's tweets reflect the general attitude of the Indian elite towards Hindu festivals. While everything negative is associated with Hindu festivals, an aura of celebratory mood is spread on the occasion of Abrahamic festivals.

Latest articles

Connect with us

125,826FansLike
98,342FollowersFollow
6,388SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these