Union Health Minister and BJP co-incharge for Karnataka elections Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday remarked sarcastically that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi would pave the way for the saffron party’s win in the southern state. Speaking at the News18 Rising India Summit, Mandaviya expressed confidence that the BJP would return to power in Karnataka.
The Election Commission announced earlier on Wednesday that Karnataka Assembly elections will be held in a single phase on May 10 and the votes will be counted on May 13, setting the stage for a key BJP versus Congress electoral fight ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha showdown.
Maintaining that the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi following conviction in a defamation case was “lawful”, Mandaviya brushed aside the opposition party’s prospects in the upcoming elections.
“Rahul Gandhi will win us the Karnataka election,” he remarked, adding, “We will make a double engine government in Karnataka again. Karnataka voters are with us.”
No political party has won a successive mandate in the state since 1985 and the BJP is eager to rewrite this bit of history and retain its southern citadel. The Congress is keen to wrest power to give the party much-needed elbow room to position itself as the main opposition player in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Like the last two decades, Karnataka will face a three-cornered contest in the May 10 elections, with a direct fight between the Congress, BJP and JD(S) on the cards in most segments.
Whirlwind visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda to the poll-bound state have no doubt given the party a leg-up in campaigning but it’s up against a combative Congress which has sought to make corruption a central theme of the political narrative.
The BJP state unit is banking on the party’s central leadership to shore up its prospects in the May 10 Assembly polls. The party had taken out ‘Jana Sankalpa Yatre’ covering almost all the constituencies in recent weeks as part of preparations for the polls.
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