Karnataka Assembly Elections 2023: BJP Vs Congress
The upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections will be crucial for both the parties, Congress as well as BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). The election is important for Congress to not only reverse its fortunes after the recent setback in the Northeast elections but also to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party later this year in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan while for BJP, it is looking to keep its winning streak going by retaining power in Karnataka assembly polls. A host of opinion polls released on the day Karnataka Elections dates were announced projected a hung assembly. The opinion polls fail to take into account the local factors. In 2018, in the Karnataka Assembly elections, BJP emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats, followed by the Congress with 78 seats, and JD(S) with 37 seats.
The season of opinion polls is back with the Karnataka elections due on 10th May 2023. The opinion polls quench the thirst of the public eager to understand which way the wind is blowing. Bharatiya Janata Party releases its first list of 189 candidates with 52 new faces. After several days of intense deliberation, on Tuesday the party finally released its first list of candidates for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, the poll in charge of the state said “Young leadership has been given preference in the selection of the candidates.” Senior BJP leader Arun Singh said that in the list of 189 candidates, there are 52 new faces as BJP believes in giving the younger generation a say in governance.
Besides the new names, 32 candidates are from OBC, 30 candidates from SC, 16 candidates from ST, and also there are 8 women in the first lists, said Arun Singh. The BJP has fielded chief minister Basavaraj Bommai from his traditional Shiggaon seat for Karnataka assembly polls. BJP leader and former Karnataka CM, BS Yediyurappa’s son Vijayendra will contest from the Shikaripura seat. Earlier rumour was he may contest from Varuna against Congress Siddaramaiah. However, Yediyurappa played down the speculation. C T Ravi, BJP national general secretary will contest from his traditional Chikmagalur seat. The State minister R Ashoka to contest from 2 seats, Padmanabhanagar and Kanakapura. Congress chief D K Shivakumar will be fighting from Kanakapura.
V Somanna, Minister of Karnataka to contest against the ex-CM Siddaramaiah of Congress in Varuna. V Somanna will also fight from Chamarajanagar. Dr. Sudhakar K, state Health minister will contest from the Chikkaballapur seat, meanwhile, former Karnataka CM Jagadish Shettar’s name was missing from the list. For the election, there has been active campaigning by national President JB Nadda, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Home Minister Amit Shah in the poll-bound state, but it’s up against a stronger-looking Congress. The corruption charges against the ruling party and the anti-incumbency factor could be a hurdle for BJP to retain power this time.
A win in the elections would boost BJP’s confidence heading into the upcoming polls to strengthen its position nationally ahead of the next year’s Lok Sabha election. Before the list was announced, Bommai asserted that the party was taking ‘tough decisions’ to create a new system, an apparent reference to the candidates' selection exercise, and also expressed confidence that ‘pro-incumbency’ sentiments will help them to beat any challenge from Congress and retain power. He also stated that the second and final lists will be announced in the coming days. BJP aims to return to power in Karnataka with an absolute majority and set a target of winning at least 150 of the total 224 seats in the assembly.