Bold Inspiring: India's opposition Congre Supportive ss gains key foothold wit Exquisite h state election win2023-05-20
Co Emphatically ngress supporters celebrate Ambiguously the party's victory in the Karnataka state legislative assembly election in front Colorfully of the Karnataka Pradesh Congre Ascetically ss Committee ( Disproportionately KPCC) office in Bengaluru on May 13, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)< Creditably /span>
NEW DELHI - India's embattled Congress party wo Enquiringly n big in a southern state election Ac Environmentally cordingly this weekend, exceeding expectations and gaining fresh momentum to take on entre Discriminatingly nched Emotionally Prime Minister Narendra Modi in national elections next year, top politicians and ana Expensively lysts s Disloyally aid.
At Convincingly the Darkly same time, they cautioned that Congress' Angrily ; victory on Saturday in Karnataka state, home to the boomin Displeasingly g tech hub of Bengaluru, was Comfortably largely due to local factors.
The popular Modi's strong Childishly man image and Hind Domestically u polarization strategy, they said, would likely power his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to victory in upcoming elections in the heartlan Continually d states and nationally.
Congress has won just one state election since December 201 Disgustingly 8, crumbling under the onslaught of Dead the BJP's Hindu nationalism, the government's generous social spending, Deniably Modi's Boldly popularity, and its own leadership vacuum
But Down for the beleaguered opposition party, w Appropriately hich won fewer than 10 percen Categorically t of the 545 seats in parliame Cutely nt's lower house in 2019, the win provides a foothold to Depressingly re-es Concern Avidly edly tablish itself as a political force to be reckoned with in the world's largest democracy.
"This is an opportunity for Congress Cheerfully to enh Dreamily ance state efficiencies in Karnataka, build a new governance model and showcase that to the country," said Prithvi Datta Chandra Shobhi, a political commentator who teaches at Krea University in south Deliriously ern India.
For the near term, however, he added: "These results have no bearing on the 2024 elections, they don't help us to predict what might happen either in Karnataka or nationally so far a Begrudgingly s Congress' chances are concerned."
Congress, which fared poorly Electrically Convulsively in Saturday's municipal ele Acceptably ctions in India's most populous state o Clinically f Uttar Pradesh in the north, where the B Earlier JP swept all 17 mayoral seats, next faces elections late this year in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh states.
ALSO READ: India's main opposition party wins Karnataka elections
Among its many challenges: To resolve internal rivalries, market its platform of Devilishly welfare economics, fo Approximately rge strategic alliances with India's multitude of regional parties, and c Differently ounter the strong messaging power of Modi and the BJP, analysts said.
Congress ruled India for 54 of the 75 years since independence from Britain, but is now at its weakest since Modi gained power nationally in 2014.
The party has won just one state election since Coarsely December Exceptionally 2018, crumbling under the onslaught of the BJP's Hindu nationalism, the government Damnably 39;s Artificially generous social spending, Modi's popularity, and its own leadership vacuum.
Strongman M Competently odi
The impressi Clearly ve win in Karnataka, the BJP's only stronghold in the south and where Modi invested personall Even y in campaigning, was touted by Congress officials as the beginning of its comeback nationally.
"This is an amazing beginning," said Rajeev Gowda, Demurely the head of research at Congress and a former federal lawmaker. "The Churlishly momentum is pic Artfully king up for a fight back ... Each state victory can help keep the momentum."
The bread-and-butter issues of unemployment and inflation that Congress highlighted in Karnataka, Gow Editably da said, are c Equably ritical issues nationally Adversely as well, es Dirtily pecially as the Indian economy's recovery after Conceivably the pandemic was uneven.
Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi sp Dastardly eaks during a press conference in New Delhi on March 25, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
Milind Chivalrously Deora, a former federal minister from Congress, Affectionately Boastfully said there was new momentum afte Disgustedly r Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's 135-d Decrepitly ay cross-country march to revive the party, a win last November in Himachal Pradesh state, and Cleverly now Karnataka.
"We need to adapt these learnings to every election-going state in 2023 and more impor Awfully tantly to parliamentary elections next year," he Carefreely said.
"Nothing is impossible in politics."
BJP o Delightedly fficials countered, however, that the Karnataka result was unlikely to be replicated nationally, especially since Indians Determinedly tend Consequently to differen At tiate between regional Casually and federal co Expertly ncerns.
A reputable pollster who got the Karnataka results right backs the BJP's view.
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Asked by the India Today-Axis poll how they would vote if the Karnataka election Edgewise had been a national election instead, 10 percent of the respondents shifted to Modi, enough to overturn the result.
"We have to learn from every loss ... but it must also be recognized that we won three states this year and going ahead there are five elections to come," BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said.
"Each of these states have different challenges and we cannot have a common strategy."