From political heavyweight to a cornered boxer

Siddaramaiah

“Avara appana aane...Narendra Modi will not become prime minister again.”

This was Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah‘s vow at the height of the Lok Sabha election campaign he led in Karnataka. The drubbing the Congress received on Thursday - the party won just one seat - has now cast aspersions on Siddaramaiah’s credentials as the Congress’ mass leader in the state after a string of losses under his watch.

In this backdrop, Siddaramaiah could face backlash from within the party, with leaders demanding answers from him.

The Lok Sabha poll debacle, included the Congress losing the Mysore and Chamarajanagar Lok Sabha segments. It is now being pointed out that Siddaramaiah could not ensure the victory of his close aides C H Vijayashankar and R Dhruvanarayana in Mysore and Chamarajanagar, respectively, despite the former chief minister being a native of the Mysuru district. 

In the same breath, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil lost the Mandya Lok Sabha segment, where Kumaraswamy had projected himself as the candidate in order to raise the stakes. 

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The Congress also lost the Bagalkot Lok Sabha segment, given that Siddaramaiah now belongs to the Bagalkot district where he represents the Badami Assembly constituency.

For the most part, Siddaramaiah was the face of the campaign of the Congress-JD (S) alliance as he went aggressive in his attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In the run up to the Assembly election last year, Siddaramaiah was hailed as the only Congress chief minister who took Modi head on. The Congress, under Siddaramaiah’s stewardship, however, lost the Assembly polls.

Shockingly, Siddaramaiah himself lost from the Chamundeshwari Assembly segment.

On Thursday, the BJP added insult to Siddaramaiah’s injury.

“Number of tweets by Siddaramaiah on daily basis - 5. Number of seats won by Congress - 1. Siddaramaiah avare, your performance is better in Twitter and we advise you to stick to Twitter,” the party tweeted.

The “avara appana aane” was a line Siddaramaiah had famously used last year to vow that H D Kumaraswamy would not become the chief minister. But, alas.

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