Congress’ Guarantees Failed to Boost Its LS Wins in Karnataka

Mangaluru: Despite securing a decisive victory with 135 seats in the 2023 Karnataka Assembly elections, largely attributed to their five guarantee schemes, the Congress party has struggled to translate this success into parliamentary seats.

A year after their triumph, neither the state guarantees nor the new promises by the central leaders have propelled Congress to a double-digit win in Karnataka.

By winning 135 seats in the 2023 assembly elections, Congress leaders had projected this would equate to around 18 parliamentary seats, with hopes of surpassing 20 due to the effective implementation of their guarantees. However, these expectations were dashed as the BJP-JD(S) coalition secured 19 seats (BJP-17, JD(S)-2), while Congress got 9.

Notably, the Congress achieved a clean sweep in the Kalyana Karnataka (Hyderabad Karnataka) region- the home turf of AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge.

“It seems there were factors stronger than our guarantee schemes that worked in favor of the BJP,” a senior Congress leader, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Deccan Chronicle.

He pointed out that internal party differences, unmet expectations from local leaders, and a failure to maintain contact with the electorate played significant roles in their underwhelming performance in some of the constituencies.

“There is a significant segment of the population that rejects the BJP in Karnataka but has complete faith in Modi at the national level. We have observed this trend in previous elections and in this one too,” he said.

A senior office-bearer highlighted the success in Kalyana Karnataka as a result of united efforts and recognized the need for a stronger organizational structure.

“We have effectively implemented our guarantee schemes, and people have benefited. But our party has failed to capitalize on this by engaging with the people,” he said.

He noted that during Siddaramaiah’s previous term, despite popular schemes like Anna Bhagya, the Congress lost power due to inadequate outreach and engagement.

The lack of organization and division of responsibilities among leaders and workers was also pointed out. “In many areas, the sitting MLAs and defeated MLA candidates did not show the expected interest in the election process,” he added.

Meanwhile, BJP leaders believe that the guarantee schemes did not resonate with the people of Karnataka, who place their faith in Modi’s leadership for the central government.

They pointed out that since 2014, voting patterns in Karnataka have consistently shown a divergence between Assembly and Parliament elections, favoring BJP in the latter.

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