The upcoming assembly elections in Karnataka, scheduled to be held on May 10, 2023, will be a crucial test for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Indian National Congress (INC). The elections will also decide the fate of the Janata Dal (Secular) (JD(S)), which is trying to retain its relevance in the state politics.
BJP trying to break the jinx
The BJP, which came to power in 2019 after the collapse of the coalition government of INC and JD(S), is hoping to break the 38-year jinx of no party winning two consecutive terms in Karnataka. The party has projected Basavaraj Bommai as its chief ministerial candidate, who took over from B.S. Yeddyurappa in July 2021. The BJP is banking on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and its Hindutva agenda to woo the voters, especially in the coastal and northern regions of the state.
Congress this time focusing on the local issue
The INC, on the other hand, is trying to regain power by highlighting the alleged corruption and misgovernance of the BJP government. The party has also adopted a “40% ki sarkar” strategy, which aims to give representation to various social groups such as Dalits, backward classes, minorities and women in its candidates’ list and government formation. The party has not declared its chief ministerial face yet, but former chief minister Siddaramaiah and state president D.K. Shivakumar are seen as the frontrunners.
The JD(S), which was once a kingmaker in Karnataka politics, is facing an existential crisis as it has lost many of its leaders and supporters to the BJP and INC. The party is led by former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who is trying to revive his party’s fortunes by focusing on the rural and Vokkaliga-dominated areas of the state. The party is also open to forming alliances with either the BJP or INC after the elections, depending on the outcome.
Ballot kismat to open on 13th May
The Karnataka elections 2023 will be a battle of strategies between the three main parties, each trying to appeal to different sections of voters. The results of the elections will have a significant impact on the national politics as well, as they will set the tone for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.