KPCC to analyse Cong defeat in Hebbal bypoll

 The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) executive committee will soon discuss threadbare the outcome of the results of the bypolls to three Assembly seats, particularly the defeat of the party candidate in the Hebbal constituency.

Addressing a press conference in Bengaluru on Saturday, KPCC president G Parameshwara said the party had expected to win in Hebbal but the “voters thinking was different”. BJP’s Y A  Narayanaswamy won from the high-profile Hebbal constituency defeating C K Abdul Rahman Sharief of the Congress by a margin of 19,149 votes. Besides Hebbal, the Congress also lost in Bidar but won the Devadurga seat. Top State Congress leaders had campaigned extensively in Hebbal for nearly two weeks. “We have sought reports from the local party units. We will analyse the results and infer the reason for the defeat”, Parameshwara said and added that it could a combined effect of the choice of  candidate, campaigning, development initiative among others.

However, he rejected that theory that defeat in Hebbal was a conspiracy hatched by a section of the Congress leaders. The run-up to the February 13 bypoll for Hebbal had exposed several political undercurrents in Congress. The poll brought to fore the simmering discontent among the Congress old guard against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who they consider an “outsider”. After an open tug-of-war, the party high command preferred Jaffer Sharief’s grandson  Rahaman over  Siddaramaiah choice’s of independent MLC Byrathi Suresh as the candidate.

Parameshwara said the developments in Jawaharlal Nehru University was a clear indication that the BJP was using the RSS and the ABVP for spreading hatred among people. “The BJP wants to impose its views on the people”, Parameshwara said. He said the party, on the pretext of “anti-national protests” was vitiating the environment in universities to saffronise the atmosphere. Former minister B K Chandrashekar sought to the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the JNU issue. He said the KPCC would support peaceful protests by college students on the misuse of state power by the BJP.

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