Siddaramaiah attributes bypoll victory to populist schemes

Siddaramaiah attributes bypoll victory to populist schemes

Siddaramaiah attributes bypoll victory to populist schemes

Buoyed by the party winning two of the three Assembly seats that saw by-elections on August 21, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday averred that the victory was an endorsement of the government’s populist schemes. 

Stating that the by-election results showed people were happy with Congress administration, he said, “At the Centre, they wanted change and voted for the BJP.

 Here, they voted for the Congress showing that they are happy with our work. We intend to continue the good work and build the party by increasing its credibility with good administration. Our target is 2018 Asembly elections.”

No fear factor

Observing that the BJP leaders’ ‘reign of fear’ in their bastions seems to have ended, he cited the example of Bellary.

“Of the three results, we have seen Bellary Rural has been freed from the reign of fear that forced people to vote for Sriramulu and his relatives. It was never out of love or affection, it was fear. In Shikaripura, a few minority community members came to me claiming they were scared for their lives if they voted against the BJP.

I assured them strict action would be taken against those threatening them. The result is there to see. We have won Bellary and a large number of voters came out to vote in Shikaripura and gave the Congress a sizeable vote share.”

He said the trouncing of the BJP in Karnataka, and in specific, Bihar, showed that if secular forces joined hands, they can beat the saffron party.

On whether the Congress was willing to tie up with the JD(S) in the next elections to defeat the BJP by combining secular forces, Siddaramaiah asked: “Who said the JD(S) is a secular force? It is a misconception. It joins hands with the BJP whenever it is convenient. The Congress is more than capable of winning elections in Karnataka on its own strength.”

The chief minister justified the ‘assistance’ given by the JD(S) leaders in Shikaripura by stating that it was restricted only to the Assembly constituency. 

“In Bellary, JD(S) leader Suryanaryan Reddy jumped to the Congress, while in Shikaripura, it was purely restricted to that constituency,” he said.

 He said the by-election results across the country showed Narendra Modi phenomenon was only temporary and questions about the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were unsubstantiated.