Telangana victory validates Congress’s Karnataka-like plan
Karnataka Congress believed the outcomes in Telangana could be influenced by success of their poll strategy of highlighting the party’s policies in Karnataka
Bengaluru: The election victory in Telangana has emerged as a litmus test success for the Congress unit in Karnataka, validating its strategy of highlighting the success of the five poll promises. Karnataka leaders played a crucial role in the neighbouring state’s campaign, with the chief minister Siddaramaiah and deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar actively putting in the extensive efforts.
The Karnataka Congress believed that the outcomes in Telangana could be influenced by the success of their poll strategy of highlighting the party’s policies in Karnataka.
Following their assumption of power, the Congress government in Karnataka had initiated the implementation of promised welfare schemes, including subsidised electricity, ₹2,000 assistance to women heads of all families, free bus travel for women, and 10 kg of free rice. Taking a cue from this, the Telangana Congress also promised welfare initiatives ahead of the election, effectively countering the Bharat Rashtra Samithi’s (BRS) array of schemes.
As part of the campaign, several leaders from Karnataka, including Dinesh Gundu Rao, Priyank Kharge, KH Muniyappa, Krishna Byre Gowda, Eshwara Khandre, MC Sudhakar, Sharan Prakash Patil, and B Nagendra, actively participated in election campaigns on the ground in Telangana. The focus of Karnataka leaders was on showcasing the successful implementation of the five poll promises in their home state.
Despite the BRS’s attacks alleging alleging the party’s failure in implementation of the poll promises, the Congress party confidently asserted that it has fulfilled its commitments, gaining trust of the voters. A Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) official, requesting anonymity, said, “Even though the BRS attacked us claiming the programs were a failure, people have understood that the Congress delivers on its promise.”
To counter the influence of the Congress, the BRS, before the elections, had dispatched senior leaders to Karnataka in an attempt to highlight the problems faced by farmers and other communities in the state.
BRS working president, KT Rama Rao, claimed that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s commitment to make Ballari district the “Jeans capital of India” is unfulfilled. Similarly, BRS MLC K Kavitha had used the power shortage in Karnataka, due to lack of rain, to criticise the Congress party in Telangana.
However, despite these concerted efforts, the positive resonance of Congress’s successful implementation of welfare programs prevailed among voters in Telangana. “For us, it is a positive sign because this win gives us validation for the strategy to showcase the success of the poll promises in the Lok Sabha elections,” the leader mentioned above said.
Shivakumar on Sunday said that the result in Telangana is not the victory of the Congress party but the victory of the people of Telangana. Speaking to reporters in Hyderabad, the deputy chief minister said that the voters of Telangana wanted a change. “Leaders from various states have worked in Telangana to help the Congress MLAs win elections. The people of Telangana have given victory for the creation of the state. They have expressed their gratitude to Sonia Gandhi,” he said.
While reacting to this, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Karnataka President BY Vijayendra said that a wave in favour of BJP has swept the country. Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, he said, “People want PM Modi to become the prime minister again. The BJP will get a majority in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. People want national security. They are turning a blind eye to the guarantee schemes, which will finish off the country.”
Former Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai also said that the assembly polls result of the four states was an indicator of the probable outcome of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
“At the same time, the result is a warning bell for the Karnataka Congress. The results of these four assembly elections have been termed as semi-finals as they have come ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha polls. Chief minister Siddaramaiah has made the statement several times. The results of the assembly elections have given a clear message to the coming Lok Sabha polls,” Bommai told reporters in Bengaluru.