oppn parties To Remain Relevant, Rahul Must Win Karnataka Face-Off With Modi

News Snippets

  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
oppn parties
To Remain Relevant, Rahul Must Win Karnataka Face-Off With Modi

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The Congress is in a conundrum – it climbs one step on the stairs only to slip back two. The euphoria generated by the party’s strong showing in Punjab, Goa, Gujarat and Rajasthan has all but vanished after its near rout in the north-east. The rejection of the party by the people has been the strongest in Tripura, where its obliteration helped the BJP secure a historic and massive mandate. From 36.5% of votes in 2013 to below 2% now is an embarrassing fall. The party is unlikely to get over this humiliation in a hurry.

In Nagaland too, the Congress has been wiped out. It failed to win even a single seat against the 10 it held in the outgoing assembly. In Mehgalaya, it managed to hang on to 21 seats against 29 it had, but that is not likely to put it in a position to form the next government. The Congress used to shout from the rooftops that the BJP is a Hindu party and it wins votes by polarizing the electorate along religious lines. But the north-east has a Christian majority in most states. Hence, that excuse is not going to work this time. The fact is that the Congress and its cronies looted the north-eastern states by siphoning out funds meant for development. It has been made to pay for the “Congress culture” that only built crony capitalists without ushering in development.

With these three states gone, Rahul Gandhi must now work to retain Karnataka if he has any pretensions of being a serious challenger to Narendra Modi in 2019. He bungled in the north-east, especially in Tripura, by not entering into meaningful alliances. Although people in the southern part of India are not enamored of the BJP but he needs to keep in mind that Karnataka was once ruled by the party and it has a good block-level infrastructure in the state. If the BJP can wrest any state in the south, it is Karnataka. Given the winning momentum, its well-oiled election machinery, Narendra Modi’s charisma which shows no sign of ebbing, Amit Shah’s guiles and the endless funds, the BJP is going to make a strong pitch for Karnataka. It will be Rahul’s biggest test till date. He has to retain the state to keep himself and his party relevant in Indian politics.