The Congress party has won a landslide victory in the 2023 Karnataka Assembly Elections by winning 136 seats, while the BJP managed to win only 65 seats. JD(S) has won 19 seats in the elections. The Congress party launched five guarantees for the poor, including Rs 2,000 monthly income for the woman head of the household, free bus travel for women and 10 kg of rice for every family below the poverty line. This victory has boosted the morale for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has admitted that the party’s performance has been below expectations. Speaking to reporters, Bommai insisted that he was solely responsible for the BJP’s loss. In the run-up to the legislative elections, he promised, “we will examine our shortcomings and make a comeback.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the Congress and wished the party all the best in achieving the goals of the people.
At a press conference held at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi, Rahul Gandhi declared, “The market of hatred has closed, the shop of love has opened.” Except in Coastal Karnataka, the Congress is ahead of the BJP in every region of the state.
The BJP’s defeat in Karnataka is likely to have a significant impact on the party’s going forward in South India ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. This is because Karnataka was the only state in South India where the BJP dominated. Winning in South India is important for the BJP to establish the party’s narrative as an all-India entity as the region accounts for nearly one-fifth of the Lok Sabha constituencies.
The party’s defeat in Karnataka is also likely to have a negative impact on its ability to attract leaders in Telangana and weaken the position of the state party president in Tamil Nadu. Additionally, a BJP majority is no longer possible in the 20-odd seats created by the massive majority in Karnataka, Bihar and Maharashtra, weakening its prospects for the 2024 Lok Sabha.