During the Karnataka polls, Priyank Kharge, an MLA from Chittapur, secured a victory despite personal focus and competition between Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This led to visible relief within the Congress camp and the gleeful appointment of Priyank Kharge to a ministerial position, seen as twisting the knife after triumphing over the BJP mascot.
The BJP accused the Congress of nepotism, alleging dynastic politics. Modi visited Kalaburagi and Yadagiri on January 19, inaugurating projects and distributing land titles to the Banjara community to woo Hyderabad-Karnataka region voters. The choice of venue and focus on the Banjaras concerned the Kharge family due to their significant population in Priyank Kharge’s constituency.
Mallikarjun Kharge, the “unvanquished leader,” suffered his first electoral defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Gulbarga. He blamed Modi for misleading the Banjaras with false promises, jokingly confronting him at a meeting in Parliament. Kharge questioned why Modi consistently campaigned in Kalaburagi, suggesting a targeted approach against his family.
Interestingly, the Congress swept the 40-seat Hyderabad region, Kharge’s stronghold, winning 26 seats against the BJP’s 10. This further solidified the Congress’s position and added to the jubilation surrounding Priyank Kharge’s Cabinet appointment.
Overall, the Congress’s decision to include Priyank Kharge in the Cabinet can be seen as a response to their triumph over the BJP in the Karnataka polls. The BJP accused them of nepotism, but the Congress viewed it as a fitting celebration of their victory. The dynamics between the Kharge family and Modi added an intriguing element to the electoral battle, with each side vying for political dominance.