“We Have Not Been Able To Make The Mark”: BJP’s Basavaraj Bommai Concedes Defeat
BENGALURU: The BJP lost its only stronghold in the south today. As the Congress crossed 120 runs in the Karnataka Assembly elections, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Puppet conceded defeat. Karnataka has not voted in power for 40 years.
The BJP has been defeated despite a campaign led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who held 19 public meetings and 6 roadshows. Union ministers and chief ministers of the BJP also pitched in, but could not save Mr Bommai government, which has been dogged by massive corruption allegations for the past two years.
“Despite many efforts by the Prime Minister and BJP workers, we could not produce the (majority) mark. Once the full results are out, we will do a detailed analysis,” Mr Bommai told reporters. . “We are taking this decision in our stride to make a comeback in the Lok Sabha polls,” he added.
Mr Bommai had earlier said that he was confident that the BJP would win. He had said that the Congress was trying to reach out to other parties as it lacked confidence in its legislators.
The Congress, which crossed a majority of 113 this morning, seems to have exceeded expectations. The party is currently leading in more than 130 seats as compared to the 120 seats predicted by former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
BJP is leading in more than 60 seats and is far behind. While most polls predicted a hung assembly, HD Kumaraswamy’s secular Janata Dal, expected to be the kingmaker, is leading in more than 20 seats.
The Karnataka election results will deal a blow to the BJP’s plans for the national elections next year. It is the only southern state to send 28 members to the Lok Sabha.
Although the BJP’s vote share has not declined compared to 2018, the polls indicate that the party has not been able to make much-needed inroads in the Vokkaliga and Scheduled Castes and Tribes votes.
In March, the BJP changed reservations in the state, scrapping 4 per cent OBC (Other Backward Classes) votes for Muslims and reserving a portion of it for Vokkaligas and Scheduled Castes and Tribes.
Congress victory in another state has greatly cheered the opposition parties.
“The news from Karnataka is that the ‘end’ of BJP’s negative, communal, corrupt, pro-rich, anti-women-youth, communally divisive, false propaganda, individualistic politics has begun,” tweeted Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav.
“This is a strict mandate of a new positive India against inflation, unemployment, corruption and nepotism,” he added.