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Congress does to BJP in Karnataka what latter did to it in Goa

New Delhi, IndiaWritten By: Kartikeya SharmaUpdated: May 15, 2018, 09:10 PM IST

File photo of Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Photograph:(Zee News Network)

Despite their electoral loss, the Congress has been able to upset the BJP’s applecart by ensuring that Kumaraswamy becomes the Chief Minister of the state. BJP has cried foul saying that it is unethical but the fact that BJP made governments in Manipur, Meghalaya and Goa does not cut much ice in the public domain. Despite the loss, the Congress by allowing JD(S) to step in will allow regional parties to further collaborate with each other closely. The case in example is the way the SP and the BSP cooperated with each other during the Phulpur and the Gorakhpur by-elections. It will also boost the morale of the Congress which has been outmanoeuvred and outwitted by BJP continuously in the last four years. It will help them retain the state in partnership and ensure that the party prepares well for the upcoming assembly election in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The success will add shine to Rahul Gandhi’s leadership for being proactive and ready with a plan B which was not done in the case of Goa and Manipur.
 
That is where the bright side to this story ends as one doesn’t know till when the honeymoon between the JD(S) and the Congress will last. The present result shows that the JD(S) did well at the expense of the Congress Party in Mysore Karnataka.
 
The Congress despite increasing its voter base in the state received less seats than the BJP. It also lost large number of rural seats and the party did not do well in coastal, central and Hyderabad Karnataka.
 
The downside to the development is that the BJP can take the high moral ground and cry injustice. Karnataka being the bigger state will draw more attention than Manipur and Goa. BJP did very well in the rural areas and the 100+ seats that they got show that Prime Minister Narendra Modi still has the capacity to turn elections around. Atal Bihari Vajpayee could not politically function as prime minister despite being the single largest party as other regional parties ganged up against him. It was 1999, he was able to set the stage after being PM for 13 days and 13 months as the Opposition realised that the more they ganged up against him, the more sympathy he generated. On top of it, he was able to build an umbrella coalition which the Congress did not possess.
 
The Karnataka elections have shown that the BJP is organisationally powerful and understands that it needs to expand in areas to compensate for a saturated performance in Western and Northern India in the 2014 elections. There are places where they have succeeded but in the East and deep South, they have not been able to cut much ice.
 
Despite the Congress being weak, it will embolden regional parties to come together and tie up against the BJP. This could pose to be the real challenge for the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. It can put the Congress in a secondary role but urgency to put the BJP in a corner to survive can lead to the party's political isolation. In politics, position of strength can also create isolation as other political units can band to prevent overt hegemony. This should remain the BJP’s big fear.

Rajiv Gandhi faced a similar situation. The only difference is that the man opposing him was VP Singh who was the toast of the year and the man defending the fort was Rajiv Gandhi who was reeling under the charge of corruption. In 2019, there is no such face or leadership in the Opposition. Neither is there any consensus but political climate does exist for everyone to come together to fight an ever-expanding BJP.