The recent Karnataka elections were a major event for the BJP, which treated it as a referendum for the double-engine government. The Congress party emerged victorious, and senior Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram had a few things to say about it.
The First Direct Fight Between BJP and Congress
According to Chidambaram, this was the first major election in which there was a direct fight between the BJP and the Congress. He clarified that the situation in the Northeast was different due to the presence of smaller regional parties. He stated that the Congress had a direct fight with the BJP in Karnataka, making the victory even more important for the party.
The BJP’s Double Engine Government
The BJP has been promoting its double engine government, claiming that it can bring development to the state. However, Chidambaram countered this claim, saying that the party treated the Karnataka elections as a referendum for this government. He pointed out that the Prime Minister, Home Minister, and party president had all campaigned heavily in the state, indicating that it was not just a state assembly election.
Rejuvenation of Congress
Chidambaram emphasized the importance of having a basic organization in place for any party to win elections. He stated that the rejuvenation of the Congress party in Karnataka was done through the first Bharat Jodo Yatra, which proved that the basic structure of the Congress party, if intact, can be rejuvenated to win elections against massive money, power, aggression, and muscle power.
Regarding the impact of the victory on the Congress party in future elections, Chidambaram said that the party must focus on the local issues in state elections, but the undercurrent will always be national issues. He suggested that a local campaign is better for state elections, but the party must still address national issues.
The Karnataka elections were an important event for both the Congress and the BJP, with the former emerging victorious. Chidambaram’s analysis of the election sheds light on the BJP’s promotion of the double engine government and the importance of having a basic organizational structure in place. The victory also provides a model that the Congress can replicate in other state elections, with a focus on local issues and the undercurrent of national issues.