Karnataka polls: Congress, CPI(M) say result indicates public sentiment against BJP

09:35 AM May 14, 2023 | PTI |

The ruling CPI(M) and opposition parties in Kerala on Saturday welcomed the Congress’ victory in the Karnataka assembly polls, stating it was an indication of public sentiment against BJP’s alleged divisive and communal politics.


The CPI(M), IUML and the Congress also said the vote trend in Karnataka also shows the BJP’s waning influence in south India.

On the other hand, BJP leader and Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan put up a confident stance by saying that the party had lost in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh assembly polls in 2018 but won in all those states during the 2019 parliamentary elections.

”So, you can analyse that. BJP has won and lost in elections. Loss in one election does not mean the end of the party,” he contended.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan welcomed the outcome of the poll result and said the BJP has been ousted from south India.


He also asked the Congress to learn from its mistakes and move forward.

”With today’s result, now, BJP is not in power in any south Indian state. The Congress which won the polls should learn some lessons from this and move forward. Congress must be more alert…There is a feeling in the country that the BJP should not come back to power,” Vijayan said at a party programme in Kollam district.

The Congress managed to win over 135 of 224 seats in the polls while the BJP failed to cross the 70-seat mark.

Earlier in the day, welcoming the leading trend and the seats won, Congress leaders in Kerala unanimously termed it an indication of the anti-BJP public sentiment and the success of Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra and his fight against the saffron party’s alleged divisive and communal politics.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and MP K C Venugopal said that despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the BJP campaign with his cabinet ministers too joining the effort, central agencies being also used against the opposition and denial of a level playing field, Congress came out victorious. ”It is a slap on the face to Narendra Modi and the BJP,” he said.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president and MP K Sudhakaran said the vote counting trend and the seats won indicated the comeback of Congress and the ouster of BJP. ”The people of south India have rejected the BJP. Karnataka was the last link. It is a win for Rahul Gandhi,” he said.

Sudhakaran said if the party can win in Karnataka, it can win in Kerala too.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly V D Satheesan echoed a similar view when he said the Congress campaign in Karnataka highlighted the 40 per cent commission that the ruling government was allegedly taking. ”Here in Kerala it is 46 per cent or 65 per cent. We will highlight that here,” he said.

Satheesan further said the Karnataka election results were not confined to that state and its effect would be seen everywhere during the Lok Sabha polls.

”It is public sentiment. The Prime Minister and his entire cabinet camped there to campaign, using all means at their disposal, yet Congress took such a huge lead,” he contended.

Satheesan also said that while ”communal fascist forces” wanted a Congress-free India, the party made BJP-free south India a reality.

He too said the outcome was an indication of the public sentiment in support of Rahul Gandhi and his fight against the BJP.

Earlier in the day, senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said the trends indicate a historical win for the party and the results would also work as an impetus for it in the 2024 general elections. It also showed the public acceptance of the Congress and Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, he pointed out.

”Rahul Gandhi is the leader who can oppose Narendra Modi. This is proof of that. This is the first step towards unifying all secular forces to form a secular government at the Centre,” Chennithala said.

IUML Kerala state president Syed Sadiqali Shihab Thangal and the party’s national general secretary and MLA P K Kunhalikutty too spoke along similar lines.

Both Chennithala and the IUML leaders said that with what happened in Karnataka, BJP is no longer in power in south India.

CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan too welcomed the vote counting trends in Karnataka and said southern India has been ”freed” from BJP.

However, he said it did not indicate a comeback of Congress as one of its major power centres was Gujarat where the BJP has a huge majority.

”So, it cannot be said it is a comeback for them. Congress on its own cannot free India of BJP. Even they do not lay claim to that. We need to treat every state as a unit and consolidate the anti-BJP votes there and defeat them there. That is what worked in Karnataka,” he contended.

He said that in Karnataka the people have spoken out against the alleged communal politics of the BJP. ”It is an indication of the anti-Centre and anti-communalism sentiments of the people.” Reacting to Govindan’s comments, Chennithala claimed the CPI(M) always wants BJP to win. He said the Left party had one seat in Karnataka which too was lost.


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