Congress strategies fail to make impact

It won only two of the 16 seats in the byelections

Congress strategies fail to make impact

 
KPCC chief R V Deshpande at Opposition leader Siddaramaiah’s residence after the latter submitted his resignation, in Bangalore on Thursday. DH photoIn the last 27 months after the BJP came to power, the Congress had several introspective meetings as it has been losing elections one after the other.

It also brought changes in the guard, at the KPCC level and the Leader of the Opposition. But, its strategies have failed to help in improving its poll prospects.
The Congress can’t even argue that it is easy for a ruling party to win byelections, because, the JD(S) has won six seats in the bypolls to 16 constituencies though it is numerically weak in the Legislative Assembly. So, it is not that voters have supported the ruling party in all the elections.

Siddaramaiah, with much lobbying, got the position of the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly after Mallikharjun Kharge became the Union Minister. Kharge, who was also president of the KPCC, was replaced by R V Deshpande. For the first time, the KPCC got a working president (D K Shivakumar). But these changes have not helped the party in positioning itself better in the political map of the State.

As many as 16 Assembly constituencies went for byelections since the BJP came to power in May 2008. The defection of elected MLAs to the ruling party and death of MLAs necessitated the byelections.

The biggest loser in the byelections is the Congress. Of the total 16, it could win only two - Bidar and Govindarajanagar. With that the party, which had won 80 seats in the Assembly elections in 2008, reduced its strength to 73.

The BJP, which had secured 110 seats in 2008, increased its strength to 117, while the JD(S) which had won 28 seats in the 2008 Assembly, succeeded to retain the tally at 28 despite defection of its four MLAs to the BJP. Soon after the results were out, Siddaramaiah sent his resignation as Leader of the Congress Legislature Party, to Sonia Gandhi. Deshpande and Shivakumar, who are likely to be replaced in the on-going organisational elections, have also declared that they are ready to give up their posts. Deshpande has requested Sonia Gandhi to relieve him from the responsibility as the president.

A section of legislators and followers, including Deshpande, D K Shivakumar, V S Ugrappa, H C Mahadevappa, H S Mahadev Prasad, M V Rajashekharan, T B Jayachandra, Dinesh Gundurao, H Vishwanath have asked Siddaramaiah not to quit as no individual could be held responsible for the defeat.

Sources in the party said the high command would make him to withdraw his resignation. It is because all sections of the party, despite internal differences, accepted his leadership during the padayatra to Bellary from Bangalore.

In case Siddaramaiah refuses, the party would look for an alternative to replace him.
T B Jayachandra, who is at present deputy leader of the party in the House, former minister G Parameshwar would be among the contenders for the post, it is said. The PCC members have already passed a one-line resolution authorising Sonia Gandhi to hand pick her choice of candidate for the KPCC president post. Parameshwar is also aspiring for the KPCC president post.

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