Definitive Decisions - Eastern Mirror
Monday, June 05, 2023

Definitive Decisions

By The Editorial Team Updated: May 18, 2023 11:48 pm

The significance of the recent Karnataka Assembly election was evident from the amount of time, energy and resources the three main contenders – Bharatiya Janata Party, Indian National Congress, and Janata Dal (Secular) – pumped in during the high-voltage campaigning. The high stakes election saw political stalwarts including Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, JP Nadda, Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, HD Deve Gowda, and HD Kumaraswamy canvassing for votes. Against the backdrop of Modi hitting the campaign trail by holding more than a dozen rallies ahead of the polls and Rahul Gandhi touring the state as part of his Bharat Jodo Yatra, crediting and discrediting followed after the landslide victory of the Congress. But the winner took it all. Amid these talks, the JD(U) that was hoping to become the kingmaker before the results were declared slipped into oblivion. The party saw huge erosion in terms of support, perhaps an outcome of keeping the voters in the dark about its political inclination, and it won’t be easy to bounce back from the setback. For the BJP, the failure to retain power in its only southern stronghold could shake its confidence. Its “double-engine government” rhetoric didn’t seem to resonate with the electorates in the face of infighting and corruption charges against some of its leaders. The party’s policy of pleasing the majority community and getting into avoidable controversies like the Amul vs Nandini row too appeared to have backfired. The saffron party can learn a lesson or two from this debacle by respecting religious, linguistic and regional sentiments.

On the other hand, the Congress was able to connect with the people of Karnataka better than its opponents by confining itself to local issues that could have an impact on the lives of the electorate. Besides some stray unnecessary comments from its workers, the party by and large stayed united. The thumping victory was an outcome of team work. The grand old party deserved it and the people’s massive mandate will boost its morale for the upcoming assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram, dubbed as a prelude to the Lok Sabha elections next year. While the party has every reason to celebrate, it should address the elephant in the room with urgency before it destroys the house. The time it took to announce the chief minister of Karnataka after the huge victory can send a wrong message to its party workers and public. Then there is the never-ending Ashok Gehlot-Sachin Pilot tussle that could affect its prospect in the upcoming Rajasthan election by the end of this year. The Congress leadership should learn to take strong stance on such internal matters, or else it may end up portraying itself as “weak” with no teeth to take tough decisions. The party can’t afford to allow petty issues to slow down its momentum ahead of next year’s crucial Lok Sabha election. Decisiveness can make a huge difference.

By The Editorial Team Updated: May 18, 2023 11:48:45 pm