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Overconfidence on guarantees, appeasement allegations reduced Cong seats to single digits in K’taka

IANS | June 05, 2024 04:48 PM

BENGALURU: Overconfidence on guarantees and allegations of appeasement proved costly for the ruling Congress in the Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka.

The Congress, which was confident of winning 18 to 20 seats, managed to secure only 9 seats in the state.

The calculations of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister, DK Shivakumar, who were hoping to recreate the magic of the 2023 Assembly election results, went awry.

The results showed that the guarantees did not work for the party in capital Bengaluru, south Karnataka, and the Kittur Karnataka region.

The killings of two young women, Neha Hiremath and Anjali in Hubballi, and the statements following Neha’s death by the CM and Home Minister, about a relationship gone sour, backfired in north Karnataka.

However, the party won all 6 seats in the Kalyan Karnataka region, also known as Hyderabad Karnataka.

The Congress bagged the Bellary, Koppal, Raichur, Kalaburagi, and Bidar Lok Sabha seats in the region.

These areas are considered aspirational districts, and their social indicators are discouraging. Hence, the Congress’ guarantees seem to have worked their magic here.

Minister for Housing, Zameer Ahmad Khan also played a role in consolidating Muslim votes for the Congress in the region.

The Congress leaders’ quick decision to rope in sitting MP Karadi Sanganna, who was denied a ticket by the BJP, helped the grand old party win the Koppal seat held by the saffron party since 2009.

The Congress also won the Davanagere seat in central Karnataka. Though the candidate hailed from a powerful political family, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s efforts played a major role in ensuring victory on this seat.

Congress rebel candidate, GB Vinay Kumar, hailing from the Kuruba community, contested as an Independent candidate from here.

When the development threatened the prospects of the party, CM Siddaramaiah, who hails from the Kuruba community, made a special appeal to the voters to support the Congress.

As a result, the rebel candidate got just 42, 907 votes. The constituency witnessed a close contest throughout, and after 25 years, the Congress managed to capture the Davanagere seat.

Priyanka Jarkiholi, daughter of PWD Minister Satish Jarkiholi, turned into a giant slayer and ensured the victory of the Congress against senior BJP leader Annasaheb Jolle on the Chikkodi seat.

United efforts of the Congress leaders of the region and guarantees paid off for the grand old party here.

The Congress party also managed to ensure the victory of AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge’s son-in-law Radhakrishna from Kalaburagi against Lingayat vote consolidation.

The Karnataka Congress government is providing Rs 2, 000 for women heads of families under the Griha Laxmi scheme, free power up to 200 units under the Griha Jyothi scheme, free travel in RTC buses throughout the state for women under the Shakthi scheme, Rs 3, 000 and Rs 1, 500 allowance for two years for fresh graduates and diploma holders under the Yuva Nidhi scheme, and 10 kgs of rice for every member of all BPL households.

The Congress had taken special care towards implementing the schemes to send out a message to the whole country.

However, even after a single-digit performance, Congress leaders are happy that they could take back 9 seats won by the BJP in the 2019 General Election.

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