Karnataka bypolls: thumbs up for opposition unity

Karnataka bypolls: thumbs up for opposition unity

Congress supporters celebrate party candidate V S Ugrappa's win in the Bellary Loksabha by-poll election, in Bellary, Karnataka, on Tuesday. PTI

The 4-1 Karnataka bypoll result in favour of the Congress-JD(S) alliance has given a glimmer of hope to the opposition parties as they gear up to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections next year.

While the Congress said the bypoll results were indicative of the “changed mood” in the country, other Opposition parties view it as yet another endorsement that Modi can be defeated through state level alliances.

Congress leader and former Union minister Manish Tewari said the bypoll results were indicative of the changed mood in the country.

“The Congress and the other progressive and pluralistic forces have vanquished the BJP in by poll after by poll going over the last ten by polls,” Tewari said.

The CPI termed the “bypoll results” as a 'Deepavali gift” by the people of Karnataka to the opposition parties.

“The Deepawali gift of the Karnataka people makes it clear that a united opposition can easily defeat the BJP,” the CPI said in a statement.

It added that the huge margins of defeat of the saffron party candidates showed the anti-BJP mood of the people.

"The bypoll results are positive and lead to further consolidation of secular forces," CPI leader D Raja said.

JD(S) leader Kunwar Danish Ali said that the Karnataka bypoll results have shattered the myth propagated by the BJP the the Congress and the JD(S) will not be able to transfer their votes to each other.

He said the bypoll result were a clear indicator that the people of the country want the opposition parties to unite – at least at the state level to defeat the BJP in the next Lok Sabha elections.

The by-election results are seen as a a major setback for the BJP ahead of the 2019 elections with the party lost the Ballari Lok Sabha seat, considered a stronghold of the controversial mining barons — the Reddy brothers.

The Congress has been pitching for state-level alliances to take on the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections next year.

Last week, Congress president Rahul Gandhi met arch-rival TDP leader and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. The meeting was described as “momentus” by the Congress scion given that the TDP was born out of a strong anti-Congress sentiment by filmstar-turned-politician N T Rama Rao.