‘Nafrat ka bazaar’ closed, ‘mohabbat ki dukaanein’ opened: Rahul Gandhi after Karnataka victory

The counting of votes polled in the 10 May Karnataka Assembly elections was taken up on Saturday and Congress won simple majority.

BySumit Jha

Published May 13, 2023 | 8:24 PMUpdated May 13, 2023 | 8:24 PM

Karnataka Assembly polls: The counting of votes polled in the 10 May Assembly elections in the state was taken up on Saturday. (Screengrab)

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday, 13 May, hailed the party’s performance in the Karnataka Assembly polls, saying “nafrat ka bazaar” (market of hate) has closed down and “mohabbat ki dukaanein” (shops of love) have opened in the state.

“I thank and congratulate the people of Karnataka, party workers, and leaders,” Gandhi said at a press conference.

“I am happy we contested the Karnataka polls without using hate, bad language. We fought the polls with love. In Karnataka, ‘nafrat ka bazaar’ has closed down, ‘mohabbat ki dukaanein’ have opened,” he said.

In the Karnataka polls, on one side there was the power of crony capitalists and, on the other, there was the strength of poor people, Gandhi said. He added that the strength of the poor has defeated the power of crony capitalists and this will happen in all states.

Also Read: Karnataka Assembly elections: Congress set to form government

‘People voted furiously against bad administration’

AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge termed Congress’s good show in the Karnataka Assembly polls as a victory of “Janata Janardhan”, saying that people have voted “furiously” against BJP’s “bad administration” in the state.

He said that all the newly-elected Congress legislators have been asked to reach Bengaluru by this evening and due process of government formation will be followed.

“We have sent a message to everyone (newly elected persons) to come by this evening. Once they come, they will be instructed on the due course. After that, the high command will send observers (and) after that, the due processes (for government formation) will follow,” he told reporters in Bengaluru.

He said that Congress’s good show was a “Janata Janardhan victory”, crediting the people for the party’s apparent return to power as it established a clear lead ahead of its rival BJP.

Also Read: Landslide victory for Congress in Karnataka, ‘Modi magic’ fails

“People themselves have got up and supported us, they have voted for us furiously against the bad administration. This shows that voters of Karnataka are awakened. Despite the prime minister, home minister, dozens of ministers, and chief ministers of other states camping here (Karnataka), and despite manpower, money, and muscle being used, people have unitedly voted for Congress,” he added.

Congratulating those who have won, the AICC president said that people support good work. Whether victorious or defeated, one should stay amidst them and work in a democracy.

Complimenting the Congress’s entire state leadership, party office bearers, and workers, he said, “Everyone has worked unitedly, which has got us these results. People have also responded to it. Also, our guarantees have worked, as the poor and downtrodden have voted for us.”

Also Read: Modi, Shah campaigned in 47 segments, BJP won only 15

‘Victory of politics that unites country’

Following the win, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hailed the party’s performance in the Karnataka Assembly polls as the “victory of politics that unites the country”.

Priyanka had run a high-octane campaign for the elections and addressed 13 public meetings, besides participating in 12 road shows. She had also held two women’s meetings and a workers’ meet.

According to data available on the Election Commission website, the Congress has won 136 of the 224 Assembly seats in Karnataka, the BJP has won 39 and is ahead in 65. The Janata Dal (Secular) has bagged 19 seats.

In a tweet in Hindi, Priyanka Gandhi said, “Heartfelt thanks to the people of Karnataka for giving a historic mandate to the Congress party. This is a victory of giving priority to the idea of Karnataka’s progress. This is the victory of politics that unites the country.”

“My best wishes to all the hardworking workers and leaders of the Karnataka Congress. All your hard work has paid off. The Congress party will work diligently to implement the guarantees given to the people of Karnataka. Jai Karnataka, Jai Congress,” she added.

Also Read: The emergence of BL Santhosh in the Karnataka elections

The 5 guarantees

The Congress General Secretary was referring to the five guarantees given by the party to be implemented as soon as it formed the government in Karnataka.

  • 200 units of free power to all households (Gruha Jyoti)
  • ₹2,000 monthly assistance to woman heads of every family (Gruha Lakshmi)
  • 10 kg of rice free to every member of BPL households (Anna Bhagya)
  • ₹3,000 every month for unemployed graduate youths and ₹1,500 for unemployed diploma holders (both in the age group of 18-25) for two years (Yuva Nidhi)
  • Free travel for women in public transport buses (Shakti)

Also Read: State Of Play: Modi leads BJP, ‘guarantees’ power Congress