As Congress takes a comfortable lead in the ongoing Karnataka Assembly elections, resurging in the political landscape of the southern state, party senior leader Jairam Ramesh took a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership and tweeted on Saturday that the “PM has lost”.
The Congress has won two seats and was striding forward in 128 seats while the BJP was ahead in 66, according to the latest trends as per the Election Commission of India (ECI). Votes being counted today were widely seen as a litmus test for the two dominant parties ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
"As the results firm up in Karnataka it is now certain that the Congress has won and the PM has lost. The BJP had made its election campaign a referendum on the PM and on the state getting his 'ashirwaad'. That has been decisively rejected!" Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet.
As the results firm up in Karnataka it is now certain that the Congress has won and the PM has lost. The BJP had made its election campaign a referendum on the PM and on the state getting his 'ashirwaad'. That has been decisively rejected!— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) May 13, 2023
The Congress party fought these…
Congress fought these elections on local issues of livelihood and food security, price rise, farmer distress, electricity supply, joblessness and corruption, Ramesh said. "The PM injected divisiveness and attempted polarisation. The vote in Karnataka is for an engine in Bengaluru that will combine economic growth with social harmony," he added.
Incumbent chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, who is leading from his own constituency, Shiggaon, has conceded defeat on behalf of the BJP.
Notably, the BJP was riding on the Narendra Modi juggernaut, eyeing to break a 38-year-old poll jinx where the state has never voted the incumbent party to power since 1985. Meanwhile, for Congress, a victory in Karnataka would revive its hope for the upcoming general elections.
Congress’ Siddaramaiah, in a statement, said the party will come to power on its own strength by winning over 120 seats. The visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and national BJP President J P Nadda have had no impact on the voters of Karnataka, he said.
In the 2018 Assembly polls, the BJP emerged as the single largest party by winning 104 seats, followed by Congress with 80 seats and JD(S) with 37. The Congress and JD(S) had forged a post-poll alliance but the Kumaraswamy-led government collapsed a year later following defections. The BJP subsequently formed the government with the help of the rebel legislators of the Congress and JD(S).