Bengaluru: Despite offering reasonably good governance and stable government in the state during its 5-year term, the shocking defeat has rattled the Congress party in the state.
Introspecting reasons for the defeat at Congress office in the capital a day after results, many elected legislators felt that the ticket distribution to the followers of influential and powerful party leaders led to the downfall of the party. Nearly 50 percent of the sitting MLAs including many ministers failed to get re-elected, causing serious damage to the party aspirations, opined some legislators, expressing their dis-satisfaction over party ticket-distribution. According to them, the party’s failure to assess the anti-incumbency factor against individual leaders at constituency level dented party’s chances.
Political analysts cite polarisation of votes on caste and communal lines, final blitzkrieg on the Congress regime headed by Siddaramaiah by Prime Minister Modi during the last phase of his campaign-few days before the election, underestimating the Janata Dal (Secular) influence among the electorate especially in old Mysuru region led to party’s poor show. The party managing to win only 3 seats out of 19 in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada is a clear indication to justify their claims, where the trends reversed in favour of BJP in comparison to 2013 elections.
In addition, the decision to seek religious minority status to Lingayat coomunity seems to have backfired mainly in Bombay Karnataka region, where clearly even the row over the Mahadayi water sharing issue failed to dent the rise of the BJP. The appeasement tactics employed by Congress to woo Lingayat voters backfired as it led to the consolidation of Gowda community voters in old Mysuru region, which voted against the Congress, analysts opined.
Despite innumerable set backs, Congress party can take consolation in terms of voting percentage, which recorded 38% in favour of the party, marginally higher than BJP, with the total voter turnout hovering around 72% in the last 2 assembly elections.The party managed to retain its hold in Hyderabad-Karnatak region and tasted success beyond expectation in Chikkaballapur and Kolar regions.