What the Karnataka Result Tells Us About Our Option for 2019

Politics

What the Karnataka Result Tells Us About Our Option for 2019

Illustration: Akshita Monga/Arré

W

e Indians are used to rehearsals. We did it as kids in school plays, where even the boy playing the part of the tree had to come for rehearsal dressed as one. We continue to do it as grown-ups – with the uniquely Indian ritual called “trial” ball in gully cricket. Even e-commerce today allows you to sample a sofa before you actually pay for it, so why should politics be different?

What has gone down in Karnataka, all the drama and excitement notwithstanding, is a rehearsal for 2019 – and a poor one at that. The BJP looks at Karnataka as its “door to the south”. Not being able to make much of an impact in 2016 in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and with even the TDP withdrawing from the NDA, a win in Karnataka is important for the party’s pan-India image. Especially after the mega-boost it received in the Northeast a few months ago. As for the Congress, which pitched the “Karnataka model of governance” as a counter to the famed Gujarat model, the state elections have also been a face-saving exercise. If they lose even this, what’s left of them?

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