Congress leaders celebrating the victory in Karnataka Assembly polls. (Image: Twitter/ @DKShivakumar)
Is Karnataka election result a preview of the national political mood ahead of the 2024 general elections? Will it replicate an impact on the next year's Lok Sabha elections? Are the claims that the Karnataka poll result is a sign for 2024, true? These are the questions, which are being vastly discussed in the political arena and conclusions are being drawn. Amid the Congress’ claim that the mood of the voters across the country is in their favour, let us go through some facts, data, past records and demography, which concludes the argument that the Karnataka poll story was never a national story.
Lok Sabha Vs Karnataka Assembly
If we analyse the facts related to the Karnataka Assembly polls and its impact on the Lok Sabha polls, it shows that state assembly poll results had never impacted the results of the general elections. The data shows that, regardless of the state assembly results, the BJP has been consistently able to emerge as the single largest party in Karnataka constituencies in all Lok Sabha elections since 2004. As per data:
Anti-incumbency, a periodic pattern in Karnataka
According to the political experts, the state of Karnataka has always witnessed a periodic pattern of anti-incumbency during the state assembly elections. This year too, the Congress’ win is being termed as a result of anti-incumbency against the BJP government in the state.
The political experts claim that the credit for the massive victory of the Congress Party in Karnataka goes to the local leadership. This includes Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar and former-Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. The two leaders are being considered as the architects of the Congress' success in Karnataka. The work done by both the leaders is being hailed across the state and neither of them are national leaders of the Congress.
Rahul Gandhi and Bharat Jodo Yatra
The Congress national leadership has started a campaign and is crediting the party’s Karnataka Assembly win to Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. But, the fact is, Rahul Gandhi’s Yatra had merely covered 22 assembly constituencies out of 224-constituencies in Karnataka and only 7 Lok Sabha segments. Moreover, during the assembly elections this year, Rahul Gandhi had only taken part in a 12-day elections campaign in the state, which can’t be considered more important than the campaign efforts by DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah’s state-wide tour for over four months.
According to the past records, no post-poll impact has been witnessed after Karnataka elections. Taking the last three assembly elections of Karnataka into account, the record shows that the win in Karnataka hadn’t impacted other states which are due to go for polls in 2023. In 2013, despite the Congress winning Karnataka, BJP managed to win Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh polls. On the other hand, in 2018, when BJP was the largest party in Karnataka, Congress won Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and the Chhattisgarh polls.