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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

Karnataka elections: BJP says JD(S) damaged Congress prospects

BJP leaders said heavy turnout in the traditional JD(S) strongholds in the old Mysuru region, Hassan and Tumakuru in the southern region was indicative of people voting against the Congress.

india Updated: May 15, 2018 16:39 IST

Hindustan Times, New Delhi
BJP supporters celebrate the party’s performance in the Karnataka assembly elections, in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
BJP supporters celebrate the party’s performance in the Karnataka assembly elections, in Bengaluru on Tuesday.(Arijit Sen / HT Photo)
         

The Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) which had been tipped as kingmaker in the Karnataka assembly polls before the BJP upset all predictions, severely damaged the Congress’ prospects of retaining power, the saffron party’s spokesman in the state S Shantaram said on Tuesday.

He said heavy turnout in the traditional JD(S) strongholds in the old Mysuru region, Hassan and Tumakuru in the southern region was indicative of people voting against the Congress. The results, he said, was another step towards the BJP’s stated position of eliminating the Congress from India’s political landscape.

“The people have decided to make Karnataka Congress mukt as in the other states. The Congress loses wherever its president Rahul Gandhi campaigns. Karnataka is the latest proof,” Shantaram told IANS.

Also read: Interactive maps that provide real-time data and analysis

Shantaram also hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ability to establish rapport with voters. The BJP had pulled out all the stops in the last round of electioneering, using Modi to virtually carpet bomb the state with 21 rallies.

“Unlike Gandhi, PM Modi is able to connect with the people through hard work, performance and commitments,” he said.

Shantaram said the Congress had failed to read the pulse of the people and chief minister Siddaramaiah’s loss in Chamundeshwari was evidence of strong anti-incumbency against the grand old party.

The Karnataka assembly polls were the first major electoral fight for the Congress after Rahul Gandhi took over as the party president on December 11, 2017 after he ran a spirited campaign for the Gujarat elections that month.

“The entire state Congress leadership, especially Siddaramaiah and G Parameshawara, misled Gandhi on their government’s non-performance and the so-called fulfilment of promises made in the 2013 poll manifesto,” Shantaram said.

No party has retained power in Karnataka for a second successive time for almost 30 years and Tuesday’s results reaffirmed that pattern. The Congress, too, failed to break that jinx.

Gandhi had campaigned extensively in Karnataka. Sonia Gandhi also hit the campaign in Karnataka once, two years after she quit an election rally midway in Varanasi.

(With inputs from IANS)