Advantage Congress in the countdown for Karnataka 2023
- Rommel Rodrigues
- May 01, 2023
BENGALURU: With less than two weeks to go for the May 10 Karnataka Elections 2023, the three major parties, the contender Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the opposition Indian National Congress (Congress), and the regional Janata Dal (Secular) JD(S) are firing all guns ablaze with their campaigns and rallies in Karnataka, trying to woo the voters and win their support. Needless to say, parties are leaving no stone unturned to make their presence and impact felt in the state voters for this crucial battle, for both the national parties, Congress and the BJP.
The usual strategies and tactics such as releasing manifestos, highlighting issues, attacking opponents etc, appeal to different sections and regions of the society, such as caste, religion, language, urban-rural divide, etc to gain an edge over their rivals will peak till the time campaigning comes to an end. The question which looms in everybody's mind is, is it too early to predict who will win the Karnataka election 2023 with some amount of certainty?
Based on some recent opinion polls and surveys, it certainly appears that the Congress definitely has an edge over the BJP and may secure a comfortable majority in the assembly. For instance, according to an opinion poll conducted by ABP C Voter which has a sample of 17,772 people, the Congress can get 107 to 119 seats, while the BJP can get 74 to 86 seats. The JD(S) can get 23 to 35 seats, while others can get 0 to 5 seats. The opinion poll also found that 41% of respondents prefer former chief minister Siddaramaiah as the next chief minister, while 31% prefer incumbent chief minister Basavaraj Bommai.
The NDTV survey in collaboration with Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), which tries to decode the public mood in Karnataka in the run-up to the May 10 election said that joblessness and poverty in the state were the biggest factors for voters in Karnataka and as many as 67 per cent of the respondents say prices have shot up in their areas in the past five years. More than half (51%) of those surveyed believe corruption has increased while 35% say it has remained the same. Notably, many traditional BJP supporters (41%) say corruption has surged since the last polls in 2019.
These opinion polls indicate that the Congress has gained momentum and popularity in Karnataka, while the BJP has faced some challenges and setbacks. Some of the factors that may have influenced public opinion in favour of Congress is the popularity of former chief minister Siddaramaiah, who is leading the party campaign and has announced several welfare schemes and promises for various sections of society.
For BJP the dissatisfaction and discontent among some sections of BJP supporters and leaders, who have expressed their grievances over issues such as cabinet expansion, leadership change, corruption allegations, etc which have had an impact on its party members have been its biggest concerns in the run-up to the elections.
The role and relevance of JD(S), which has been trying to regain its lost ground and appeal to its core voters, especially in the old Mysore region cannot be discounted and it appears that it will make an impact.
However, opinion polls are not conclusive or final, as they are based on a sample of respondents and may have some margin of error. Moreover, the political situation may change in the coming days due to various factors such as campaign strategies, alliances etc. The influence and intervention of PM Narendra Modi and other national leaders, who have been campaigning for their respective parties and highlighting their achievements and agendas will also be an important factor.