Home/ Elections / Assembly Elections/  Why Karnataka Assembly elections 2023 are important? 4 key reasons

The Election Commission of India on Wednesday announced the dates of the Karnataka Assembly election. The election for the 224-member Karnataka Legislative Assembly will take place on May 10 and the counting of votes will then take place on May 13. 

This time, it is expected that there be a close contest between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress along with the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) playing a possible kingmaker role. 

Karnataka assembly elections are important for various reasons including political stability, one of the most economically important states, Tipu Sultan and Hindutva ideologues, and Congress' efforts to revive its place in the poll-bound state. 

Why Karnataka Assembly elections are important?

1) Impact of Karnataka polls on 2024 Lok Sabha elections: BJP, the ruling party in Karnataka under the leadership of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, has 119 MLAs in the 224-member assembly. The saffron party gained power here in 2008. The victory was largely attributed to BS Yediyurappa, who was the chief minister of the state. It has continued to remain a strong player in Karnataka. 

In 2013, the party won 40 seats and emerged as the single largest party. But it could not form the government as it fell short of the majority. The Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) formed a coalition government in the state. 

In 2018, BJP again emerged as the single largest party. And it again failed to form the government. However, after one year, it formed the government due to the collapse of the Jd(S)-Congress alliance. It will have an impact on national politics and next year's Lok Sabha elections

2) Contribution of Karnataka to India's GDP: Karnataka is considered to be one of the most economically important states of India as it contributes about 8% to the country's GDP. It also hosts several key sectors such as biotechnology, aerospace, Information Technology (IT), and defense. 

CM Basavaraj Bommai earlier said that the southern state presents huge business opportunities for the construction industry, as it is embarking on major infrastructure development projects in roads & flyovers, industrial infrastructure, and power. He has also announced that six new high-tech cities in Hubbali, Dharwad, Mysore, Mangaluru, central Karnataka, and one near Bengaluru, will be built within six months.

3) Tipu Sultan and Hindutva ideologue: The assembly elections in Karnataka will reflect the outcome of polarisation campaigns on religions which includes targeting Muslims over hijab, attacks on Christians over accusations of forced conversations, and debate on the 18th-century Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan and Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar.

Last month, tension gripped Karnataka's Yadgir district over renaming the Tipu Sultan circle after Veer Savarkar. The situation became so worse that lawmakers imposed Section 144 in Yadgir from Sunday 6 am to 11 pm on Monday to avoid any sort of untoward incidents. Some right-wing organizations alleged that the circle was named after Tipu Sultan unofficially and demanded naming it as 'Savarkar Circle'.

Prior to this incident, pro-Hindu organization Shivaji Maharaj Sangathan alleged that supporters of Tipu Sultan named a circle after him in 2010 unofficially. They demanded renaming it after Veer Savarkar.

4) Congress' performance in Karnataka: Congress is one of the main players in Karnataka politics. The grand-old party came to power in Karnataka in 1952 when the state held its first legislative assembly polls. The Congress party has several times formed its government in Karnataka.

In 2008, the party suffered a major defeat, winning only 80 seats in the 224 assembly seats. But in 2013, it bounced back and won a majority winning 122 seats. In the previous election, it won 80 seats and formed a coalition government with JD(S) which collapsed in 2019. At present, it is the main opposition party in the state.

Congress has released its first list of candidates for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections, which includes the names of former CM Siddaramaiah and State party president DK Shivakumar. Siddaramaiah will be contesting from the Varuna constituency and Shivakumar from Kanakapura.

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Updated: 29 Mar 2023, 01:46 PM IST
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