Karnataka election results: What didn't work for Congress

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: May 15, 2018, 03:40 PM IST

File photo of former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Photograph:(Zee News Network)

It is turning out to be a miserable Tuesday for Congress, which is on the verge of losing the assembly elections in Karnataka. The BJP is leading in 112 out of the 222 assembly segments, while the Congress is maintaining lead in 70.

With this loss, Congress will be reduced to two states - Punjab and Mizoram - and one Union Territory, Puducherry - a major dent on the party's confidence ahead of the Lok Sabha elections next year. Karnataka elections is being seen as a pre-cursor to the big electoral battle, and a win would have given confidence to Congress cadres.

So what didn't work for Congress? Here are some of the possible reasons for the loss of face for the Congress:

Rahul Gandhi's temple visits: Congress president Rahul Gandhi's Gujarat-style election campaign was one of the most talked about things in the run-up to Karnataka elections. Gandhi launched the Congress campaign at a rally at Hosapete in Ballari district in February, and visited many temples to drum up support for the party.

Minority status for Lingayats: The Siddaramaiah-led Congress government gave Lingayatas - one of the dominant castes in Karnataka - the status of a minority religion. The move was aimed at capitalising on the clout the Lingayats enjoy. But the voting pattern of the community doesn't seem to have favoured Congress in this election.

Siddaramaiah's welfare programmes: The Siddaramaiah government had launched many welfare schemes for the poor and youth of Karnataka which were popular among the 69 per cent of the electorate. But the leads on counting day show BJP making inroads in rural areas too, thereby spoiling the party for Congress.