Regional parties fail to connect with voters again

Regional parties fail to connect with voters again

The electorate of the State have once again shown that there is no place for regional parties in Karnataka.

The two new regional parties in the State - B S Yeddyurappa’s KJP and B Sriramulu’s BSR Congress - have failed to make much of an impact in the elections.

While the KJP could secure only six seats, BSR could bag just four. Both Yeddyurappa and Sriramulu had criss-crossed the length and breadth of the State during the last few months, seeking votes, with the former even claiming that he would muster enough support to form the government on his own.

The message of the electorate has been loud and clear - that individual-centric parties are not acceptable. Yeddyurappa projected himself larger than his party, portraying the achievements during his tenure as chief minister as his own.

The thrust of his campaign was that a regional party in power in the State was the only solution to the woes of the people. He had also openly challenged that he would politically finish off the BJP in the State.

Yeddyurappa has ended up with a paltry six seats, though he had fielded candidates in 216 constituencies.

During the last two months, 14 sitting MLAs and two MLCs had quit the BJP to join the KJP. All of them sought re-election on KJP tickets. The electorate have rejected all of them.
While Yeddyurappa’s trusted lieutenant Shobha Karandlaje was pushed to the third place in Rajajinagar, others including C M Udasi, B P Harish, M P Renukacharya, Hartal Halappa and Sunil Vallyapure,  (all former ministers), D S Suresh, M Chandrappa, S I Chikkanagoudar, Vittal Katakatonda and S V Ramachandra had to bite the dust at the polls.

The only factor that KJP could take credit for is that it ate into the already dwindling votes of the BJP in a few districts.

Perhaps, no other leader would have toiled like Sriramulu ahead of the polls.
Soon after the launch of his party, Sriramulu went on a padayatra from Bidar to Chamarajanagar, covering around 20 districts.

However, his party could bag four seats, confined to only three districts. The winning candidates include Sriramulu himself from Bellary, P Rajeev (Kudachi constituency in Belgaum), T H Suresh Babu (Kampli constituency in Bellary district) and S Thippeswamy (Molakalmuru constituency in Chitradurga). Political observers feel that Sriramulu could not strike a rapport with the people, who wondered what the need for a new party was. Resigned to their fate, both Yeddyurappa and Sriramulu were neither available for comments nor appeared before the media on Wednesday.

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