BJP’s failure to pass the floor test in Karnataka assembly is seen as a massive setback for the party before it will seek people’s mandate in states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh this year. The manner in which events unfolded in Karnataka politics has affected the morale of party workers who had expected BJP to gain a majority in the southern state. It was a case of so near yet so far for BJP as Karnataka as Chief Minister Yeddyurappa resigned before the Supreme Court ordered floor test. The road ahead looks tough for BJP as it will have to rethink its strategy to retain power in states ruled by it.
BJP Rajasthan vice president Shriram Narayan Dudi said, “The political developments in Karnataka will not affect BJP in Rajasthan and 2019 assembly elections. BJP will win the next year’s Lok Sabha polls and Modi government will retain power. The Vasundhara Raje government has undertaken several developmental works like road construction, electricity generation and water supply in Rajasthan.”
After losing Alwar and Ajmer Lok Sabha seats and the Mandalgarh assembly seats BJP faces an uphill task to restore voter’s confidence in Rajasthan. The Vasudhara Raje-led government in Rajasthan is already facing severe criticism for its failure to provide good governance. Even farmers are miffed with the Raje government for its failure to offer minimum support price (MSP) to them. Citizens too are unhappy with her for wooing the minorities by announcing a plan to develop 500 madrassas in the state. The development of madrassas is being done with an eye on the minority vote bank.
Rajasthan Congress Vice President, Gopal Singh Shekhawat said, “Congress party workers’ morale has boosted after BJP failed to gain mandate in Karnataka. People are frustrated with BJP due to bad governance and corruption. Congress will regain power in Rajasthan and the country. After Sachin Pilot took charge as Rajasthan Congress unit chief, he has taken all sections of the society together. People want change and they know that Congress is the party which works for the welfare of masses. BJP had committed murder of democracy.”
The Vasundhara Raje government has been speaking highly of women empowerment but rising number of rape cases in the state puts a question mark about the safety of the fairer sex. Already 183 women were either raped or molested in the first three months of 2018. Women are feeling unsafe in the state and are worried about stepping outside their houses.
Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi said, “Rahul Gandhi should not have declared his name as a contender for the prime minister’s post. Congress should take a clue from the Karnataka assembly incident for preparing for the forthcoming elections.”
“Even though Congress had won more seats than Janata Dal (S) it is backing the latter’s candidate for the chief ministerial post. All forces should come together to challenge BJP. Congress can win the Lok Sabha election if they form an alliance with regional parties,” he added.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had already criticised the government for razing religious structures and demanded action against those responsible for the act. On the other hand, the government defended its stand by saying that temples were razed for carrying out developmental work.
NCP leader Vidya Chavan said, “Definitely the Karnataka election verdict will have an impact on the upcoming elections in the country. All anti –BJP parties should come together to defeat BJP in future elections. Rahul Gandhi has become aggressive now.”
“Petrol prices are increasing day by day and farmers are angry with BJP. Congress realised the importance of the alliance in the current political situation. BJP has murdered democracy and now they are ruling the country,” she added.
After forming a government in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya with alliance partners through backdoor despite falling short of majority, BJP had become too overconfident as it was keen to replicate this formula in Karnataka too but it backfired. BJP will have to build its organisational structure in Rajasthan and connect with grassroot workers in the state.
On the other hand, the Congress learnt from its mistakes, announced support to Janata Dal (Secular) and backed HD Kumaraswamy as Chief Minister. The party had fielded Ashok Gehlot to forge a deal with Janata Dal (S). Young Congress leaders like Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia can play a vital role in reviving the fortunes of the party in Rajasthan assembly polls.
A senior Congress party worker said, “It is quite evident that if you refer the history of the Indian politics, BJP made it to power with huge waves be it India shining and Gujarat model of development but they lose the plot later. Party workers are not happy with the senior leaders as they remain inaccessible.”