Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge was pleased as punch as his party registered a big win in the Karnataka Assembly Elections 2023 to dethrone the Bharatiye Janata Party (BJP).
The Congress on Saturday snatched Karnataka, which was the only state in the region under the saffron party. The party won 136 seats out of 224 while the BJP managed to bag 65 seats in the state.
Kharge held a press conference in which he congratulated all Congress leaders and party workers who helped make the polls a success for the grand old party in the state.
'Big victory' for Congress
"It's a big victory. Through this, a new energy emerged in the whole nation. BJP used to taunt us and say that we'll make 'Congress mukt Bharat'.
"Now the truth is that it is 'BJP mukt south India.
"Elections result displays the success of 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' carried out by Rahul Gandhi. All the promises made in our poll manifesto will be fulfilled," Kharge said at the presser.
"Karnataka has shown a new light for democracy.
"This is a victory for 6.5 crore Kannadigas. Karnataka's pride has triumphed today!" senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said after Kharge's speech.
The election in Karnataka was widely seen as a litmus test for both Congress and BJP ahead of the 2024 parliamentary polls.
Much-needed win for Congress
This is the first time since the 2019 Lok Sabha polls that the Congress, amid its shrinking footprint, has got the better of the ruling party in a big state, a feat which will energise its battered ranks and possibly give it a template for taking on the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan in the coming months.
Though the win is sure to give wings to the Congress' ambition for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls and will add heft to its political weight as opposition parties work to join hands, its success in forming the government in Karnataka in 2018 in an alliance with the JD(S) and subsequent win over the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan was unable to prevent a saffron sweep in these states in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
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