The outcome of the crucial November 3 bypoll to five seats in Karnataka could have an impact on the Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana Assembly elections ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said here Tuesday.
The bypoll to Ballari, Shimoga, Mandya (Lok Sabha), Jamkhandi and Ramanagara (Assembly) seats, scheduled on November 3, are seen as a litmus test for the Congress-JD(S) alliance against the BJP. This alliance is seen as a precursor to a grand alliance of secular parties ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
“Karnataka politics will define the course of national politics. It won’t be wrong to say that the upcoming bypoll might have an impact on the outcome of the three Assembly elections coming up,” Kumaraswamy told reporters during an interaction.
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He pointed out that his swearing-in ceremony, which saw the coming together of leaders of several regional parties, as well as Congress president Rahul Gandhi, sent out a message across India, for the making of a ’Mahagatbandhan’ against the BJP.
Kumaraswamy also said that the Narendra Modi wave on the back of which the BJP rode to power in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, had faded. “The 2014 trend doesn’t exist anymore. In the 12-13 elections that were held since, the BJP won only one,” he said.
Elaborating on the influence of Karnataka politics at the national level, Kumaraswamy pointed out that V P Singh became prime minister in the late 1990’s, although for a short period, because “the stage was set by Karnataka.”
Read more: Karnataka bypolls: The battle lines are drawn
Kumaraswamy, who had earlier publicly cribbed about the circumstances in which he became the chief minister, said it was a “God-given” opportunity. “The Congress may have given me support (to become CM), but this is a God-given chance. God has already decided how long I’ll be here (as the CM),” he said.
He also hit out at the BJP, for mocking the bonhomie between JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda and his one-time bête noire, Congress leader Siddaramaiah. The two recently shared the stage for a joint press conference in a show of unity, despite having been bitter political rivals.
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“The same B S Yeddyurappa (BJP state president) had declared in 2013 that even his dead body wouldn’t be a part of the BJP when he had quit the party. Similarly, B Sreeramulu had formed his own BSR Congress. Everybody knows what they all had said back then. In politics, there will be attacks and counterattacks,” he said, defending the Deve Gowda-Siddaramaiah friendship.