The results of the just concluded Karnataka assembly elections are seen as a great relief. The resounding rebuff that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) received at the hands of Karnataka people voters is seen as a whiff of fresh air not only in the state of Karnataka but across the entire country. While many political pundits had resigned to the hype that the Modi led BJP juggernaut was unstoppable, and the party of the Hindu right will get an easy victory this time with clear majority on its own.
Modi-Shah & Co. was in for a rude shock when BJP just managed to get 66 seats and Indian National Congress (INC) romped home with a thumping 135 seats to its credit. Modi, who held 19 rallies and 6 road shows was the main campaigner for BJP, he tried using personal “charisma” to mesmarise the voters of Karnataka, but nothing worked. The working poor of the state burdened with rising prices of every essential commodity, particularly the cooking gas which has peaked to Rs.1200 did not buy the so-called “development” model of Modi and BJP.
People were fed up with the crass communalism that BJP government practiced in the state. The Hijab controversy trying to impinge on the rights of the Muslim women, the triple Talaq issue, the love Jihad scare that was introduced by the fringes of the Hindu right-wing further alienated not only the Muslim voters but also scores of Hindu voters, who understood the ploy of the BJP which was trying to divide and polarise the people on communal and religious lines.
The congress, main bourgeois party was slowly but surely disappearing into the oblivion in the last two decades was fighting an existentialist battle in the recent years; this victory for Congress in Karnataka is a life breather for the party. As of today the Indian National Congress (INC) is in power in 4 states of Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan where the party has majority support. Already many in the opposition camp are contemplating a grand alliance of all the opposition parties to take on the BJP in 2024 general elections which is less than a year away. But will the hotch-potch arrangement against the BJP’s aggressive Hindutva platform succeed?
If one were to draw lessons from the Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ a grand walk from Kanyakumari to Karshmir which highlighted the yet to be completed Social Democratic tasks. The question of Unemployment, the Land question, the question of Caste inequality, the issue of women’s oppression reverberated throughout the Yatra, these unresolved Social Democratic tasks were the central plank of the people’s anguish.
Just on the heels of this Yatra the Congress which modelled its 5 promises of Electricity, Rice, Unemployment benefit, augment the income of the poor women and youth goes to show that all the humbug of India being the super power is a misnomer. Neither Modi nor Congress would be able to be able to pull the 1.4 billion out of the morass of poverty and economic degradation that India is faced with.
No peace-meal solutions can suffice to eradicate poverty, unemployment and squalor. India is rich enough to provide a reasonable standard of life to everyone in the country. There are 169 world’s richest billionaires in India, hoarding all the wealth and riches, a democratic, socialist redistribution of wealth is the only answer.