#Battle For Karnataka : Can Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge Do What BJP president J P Nadda Could Not?

After a long wait the Election Commission of  India  has finally announced the assembly polls date for Karnataka 2023 for the 224 member house. The D- Day is May 10 and the results will be out on May 13.

The elections is massive test for  Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge especially after the party’s dismal showing in the North – East elections where it failed to come to power in Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura.

The Karnataka battle is critical for  Kharge . It is his home state and this adds to  the pressure. Mind you, BJP president J P Nadda could not defend his party from  losing  in  his home  state Himachal Pradesh in the 2022 assembly polls  so the onus is now on Kharge to prove  that he can do what Nadda could not – win his home state .

The Karnataka  has often has given a hung assembly too . An hence the  performances of the other party the  JD(S) of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and his son HD Kumaraswamy a former Chief Minister would bee closely watched. In case the national parties –  Congress or BJP fall short. Then the wooing  and resort politics game would come into play all over again.

The polls announcement comes amidst the disqualification of former Congress party president Rahul Gandhi for his Modi surname comments. Will this help the Congress get sympathy and get votes ? Only time will tell. Moreover, Rahul Gandhi’s ambitious Bharat Jodo Yatra attracted huge crowds  during its Southern sojourn , So the party would be hoping to  gain a lot from the yatra.

Congress is keen to wrest power from the  BJP  but it is easier said than done . Kharge will have to do a tough balancing act to keep the party together . The  Grand old party has two Chief Ministerial aspirants – former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and the  state party president D K  Shivakumar. Post poll  and if the results come the Congress way whom  Kharge picks will be one to watch out for.

Moreover, Two camps within a party had cost the Congress dearly.   In Madhya Pradesh – likes of Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh  sidelined Jyotiraditya Scindia and the rest is history. In Rajasthan , too the party which goes to the polls later this year is still unable to resolve the cold vibes between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot. So for Kharge there is problems aplenty.

The Karnataka battle is seen as a direct fight between the  Congress and the BJP .  A win here will bolster the Congress party and boost the spirits of its cadres down morally after unending defeats in polls off – late.  If BJP loses then it lose its only state it holds in the South.  That would mean no saffron wave in South India . A ominous sign for 2024 if it is to happen on May 13. So for both Congress and BJP the results will have major implications in the road towards 2024.

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