Cong fears N-K issue may hit its LS poll prospects

Photo for representation.

With the BJP trying to corner the Congress-JD(S) coalition over the issue of separate statehood for north Karnataka, the grand-old party appears worried as the issue could affect its electoral prospects in the coming Lok Sabha polls in the region.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy created furore at a rally in his home constituency of Channapatna in Ramanagara recently, saying the farmers of Koppal district would have had the “moral right to ask for a loan waiver if they had voted beyond caste and money.”

The Congress leaders have been fire-fighting to contain the damage caused by the chief minister’s controversial statement. Though the BJP has said it is against the separate statehood, the party has been accusing both the coalition partners of neglecting north Karnataka, with an aim to reap political mileage of the issue.

The call for statehood was triggered by accusation by the Opposition BJP and some Congress leaders that Kumaraswamy has neglected north Karnataka while allocating money in his recently presented budget. Senior Congress leaders such as H K Patil had openly said that “the anomaly” should be rectified, causing immense embarrassment to the party.

At least 12 out of 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state are in north Karnataka where the Congress suffered electoral losses in the recent Assembly election, which was widely attributed to the Lingayat religion issue. Out of 96 Assembly segments in the region, the Congress was reduced to 40 against the 57 it won in the 2013 polls.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won 17 seats, the Congress nine and the JD(S) two of the total 28 seats in the state.

“The north Karnataka issue will definitely be a factor ahead of the Lok Sabha election and the BJP will take maximum advantage. It could turn into a north Karnataka vs South Karnataka debate and the Congress will find it difficult to take a stand given that the JD(S) is its alliance partner,” political analyst Sandeep Shastri said.

The Congress is afraid that the demand for separate statehood for north Karnataka could become an extension of the Lingayat consolidation that worked against the party and favoured the BJP in the recent Assembly polls.

The Congress camp, sources in the party said, is also worried about the JD(S) consolidating its position in the old Mysuru region, which has traditionally been a JD(S) strong hold. The Congress lost badly in the region in the Assembly polls, mainly due to Vokkaliga consolidation in favour of the regional party.

Liked the story?

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0



Cong fears N-K issue may hit its LS poll prospects


Write the first review for this !