Congress-led coalition to face test in Karnataka assembly on Friday

Photo Caption
Photo: DC
Photo Caption
Photo: DC

The Indian National Congress (INC) coalition in the southern state of Karnataka will be tested today. The left-leaning coalition would take the place of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government that lasted just three days.

PM Narendra Modi’s party, the BJP, holds majorities in 21 of India’s 29 states. The party won the most seats in Karnataka’s election, but it did not gain an outright majority. Modi and BJP leadership had hoped to steal the state from INC ahead of next year’s general election.

For INC, maintaining Karnataka is immensely important because it is one of only three states where the more progressive party holds the majority. With today’s legislative test, INC should maintain its hold on Karnataka. Regardless, even without a majority, BJP performed well in the state and maintains power nearly nationwide.

The remaining state elections before 2019’s general election include two BJP strongholds and one INC-dominated state. Watch for hotly contested elections in BJP-controlled Chhattisgarh, which could be indicative of future momentum. Nevertheless, given Modi’s popularity and the predominance of his party in state governments, the BJP will remain highly favoured in 2019.

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