Karnataka election: Congress scripts statement win before 2024 poll. Takeaways | Latest News India


The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has lost control of Karnataka – the only southern state it had – to the Congress after a 2023 Assembly election billed as a close race turned into a rout. Most exit polls predicted a hung Assembly; only three – India Today-Axis My India, News24-Today’s Chanakya and Times-Now ETG – predicted an outright Congress win. The Congress’ performance today – its first state win since Himachal Pradesh last year – suggests the saffron camp could have a tough fight in next year’s Lok Sabha election.

Former chief minister Siddaramaiah and Congress state chief DK Shivakumar. (HT file photo)
Former chief minister Siddaramaiah and Congress state chief DK Shivakumar. (HT file photo)

According to EC data at 6.15 pm the Congress has won 123 seats – well past the majority mark of 113 seats in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly – and is leading in 13 others. The BJP has won 58 – a massive drop from the 104 it won in the 2018 election – and is leading in six.

The Janata Dal (Secular) – which fancied itself a ‘kingmaker’ after talk of a hung Assembly – has won 19 and is leading in one seat. Regional parties and an independent make up the rest.

Key takeaways from Karnataka election results 2023

1. This is only Congress’ second time ousting the BJP from power in a state election in a decade. Last year, it wrested control of Himachal Pradesh.

2. Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai conceded the BJP had not been able to make a mark. Bommai, contested from the Shiggaon constituency, won against Congress’s Pathan Yasirahmedkhan.

3. Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar, who defended his Kanakapura seat from a challenge from the BJP’s R Ashoka, broke down while reacting to the election results and gave credit to the Gandhi family for reposing their faith in his leadership in the state. With tears rolling down his cheeks, the former minister thanked the party cadres and leaders for the victory.

4. Congress stalwart Siddaramaiah has won from the Varuna constituency. He was pitted against the BJP’s V Somanna. Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar are widely seen as the leading candidates for the chief minister’s post and their strong individual performances will make the high command’s job that much harder.

5. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s son Priyank Kharge, who was pitted against BJP’s Manikanta Rathod from the Chittapur constituency, won by a margin of 13,640 votes.

6. In Channapatna, Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy defeated the BJP’s CP Yogeshwara. Kumaraswamy had set tongues wagging after voting this week about the possibility of supporting either the Congress or the BJP in the case of a hung Assembly.

7. Former CM BS Yediyurappa’s son BY Vijayendra contested and won from his father’s stronghold of Shikaripura. He beat an independent candidate – SP Nagarajagowda – by over 11,000 votes.

8. The Congress hailed the Bharat Jodo Yatra’s role for its success in the polls and said in the clash of narratives between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the yatra, the cross-country foot march is a “clear winner”. The Rahul Gandhi-led ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ entered Karnataka on September 30 at Gundlupet in Chamarajanagara district. It passed through Chamarajanagara, Mysuru, Mandya, Tumkur, Chitradurga, Bellary and Raichur, traversing a distance of over 500 km in about 22 days in the state.

9. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi termed the Karnataka win as the victory of the people’s strength over “crony capitalism”. He thanked the people of Karnataka and said hate lost to love and this will happen in all other states.

10. BJP turncoat Jagadish Shettar, who contested on a Congress ticket, was defeated in the Hubli-Dharwad Central constituency. Shettar called it quits with the BJP in April after being denied a ticket from the party. He lost to the BJP’s Mahesh Tenginakai by more than 34,000 votes.

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