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Congratulating the Congress on its landslide victory in the Karnataka Assembly elections, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has noted, “They have taught a fitting lesson to the BJP for its vindictive politics, establishing their Kannadiga legacy and pride. The BJP has totally been removed from the Dravidian landscape.”
Stalin’s message has gone viral, shared extensively in the media. Those fighting the BJP ideology are celebrating the BJP’s electoral reverses. Even historian Ramachandra Guha has agreed with Stalin on this count.
However, this does not seem to be a proper understanding of the political situation. Because to say that the BJP has been evacuated out of South India either in terms of electoral results or in terms of the people’s mood is a little exaggerated.
The big question looming large over the country now is: How will the 2024 parliamentary elections be like? The country’s future depends on the outcome of the elections. In case Modi is at it again, romping home to victory, the Hindu supremacy will continue to have an upper hand on all fronts, pushing the minorities down to the status of second class citizens. Assaults on the minorities will also increase.
On the contrary if the opposition front captures power, at least a semblance of order sans social malice and conflicts may be ushered in, be there a good rule or not.
In case Modi is at it again, romping home to victory, the Hindu supremacy will continue to have an upper hand on all fronts, pushing the minorities down to the status of second class citizens. Assaults on the minorities will also increase
Out of this perspective, the question that arises now is: Are the Karnataka Assembly election results a harbinger of the BJP downfall in the parliamentary elections?
In the last parliamentary elections, the YSR Congress captured 22 out of 25 constituencies and the Telugu Desam three. In Telangana, out of 17 seats, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti won 9, BJP 4, Congress 3 and Muslimeen 1. In Karnataka, out of 28 constituencies, the BJP bagged 25 while Congress, Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal and an independent won one each. In Kerala, out of 20 seats, the Congress-led United Progressive Front captured 19 and the CPI(M) 1. In Tamil Nadu, the UPA won 38, leaving the remaining one seat to the AIADMK. The sole parliamentary constituency in Puducherry went to the Congress.
Out of the total 543 parliamentary constituencies across the country, the BJP-led NDA captured 329 and the saffron party won 301 on its own. While the Congress was left with just 50 seats, the UPA led by it won 109.
In South India the BJP captured 30 seats out of the total of 130 constituencies, recording a landslide victory in Karnataka alone.
Of course, the writing on the wall is clear for the BJP. In the 2024 parliamentary elections, its score may not touch even 30 in South India. It is hardly a force to reckon with in any southern state. But is it enough to give hope to the aficionados of religious and social harmony?
Even if the Congress happens to sweep all constituencies in South India, there’s no guarantee for it to attain a majority in Parliament. It may walk away with the lion’s share of seats in Karnataka.
As for Tamil Nadu, it is the DMK which has an edge over all other parties in the state. The strength of the AIADMK sans Jayalalithaa is highly doubtful. The BJP, despite its insignificant and sporadic win in the local body elections, is not set to make it big electorally.
In Kerala, even if the CPI (M) wins the race, it will support only the Congress. But in Andhra and Telangana,, which, combined, have 42 parliamentary constituencies, the Congress is just a weakling, not likely supported by KCR’s party or the YSR Congress. KCR is well known for openly exhibiting his pro-Hindu leanings. Jagan Reddy (YSR Congress), though a Christian, is a supporter of Modi. Hence, the BJP-led NDA is likely to sweep stakes, bagging close to 40 seats, unless something like a miracle happens to upset the Apple cart in these two states.
What counts most is how Rahul Gandhi is going to carry himself. He is known for his signature silence after his party wins a state. He is used to leaving it to the senior leaders of the party, thereby causing setbacks to the party down the line
In Karnataka, Modi’s influence cannot be said to have gone for a toss. Out of seven Assembly constituencies in the Capital of the state Bengaluru, the BJP has won five.
In view of all these factors, it is just a little consolation that the Hindutva has yet to get deep-rooted in the region. But this trend is unlikely to persist.
In case the BJP-led front attains majority in Parliament and Modi is installed again as PM, the Hindutva will certainly become a law unto itself.
There are certain pro-BJP straws in the wind.
The film Kerala Story reportedly revolving around anti-Muslim hate politics has not gone down well with the people in South India. Yet it attracts droves of viewers in North India.
The BJP has recorded major gains in the UP local body elections.
In the forthcoming Assembly elections in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, the Congress is not set for landslide victories. Even if the party wins a major chunk of seats in the Assembly elections, one cannot predict the voting pattern of the people when it comes to the parliamentary polls.
Above all, what counts most is how Rahul Gandhi is going to carry himself. He is known for his signature silence after his party wins a state. He is used to leaving it to the senior leaders of the party, thereby causing setbacks to the party down the line.
At present the Congress is confronted with a growing infighting in Rajasthan. It is not clear what Sachin Pilot has up his sleeves. The Gehlot-Pilot mudslinging may reflect badly on the party’s electoral prospects.
Back in Karnataka, the Congress high command had some unpleasant moments choosing its CM in what looked like a dilution of euphoria over its much celebrated win.
It is also a moot question how many seats will be given away by the allies to the Congress.
Uncertainty prevails on all fronts right now. Hence, it is premature to cry happily at the rooftop that the BJP has been edged out the Dravidasthan, purely going by the hard-earned win of the Congress in Karnataka Assembly elections.
There are miles to go and promises to keep indeed!
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