Bengaluru, June 4 (). After the announcement of guarantees as promised during the elections in Karnataka, the Congress party is full of confidence to win maximum number of seats in the Lok Sabha elections. The party has gained tremendous goodwill across the state.
After suffering a humiliating defeat in the assembly elections, the opposition BJP is trying hard to regain its hold in the state. On the other hand, the Congress high command is succeeding in giving one positive message after another to the people of the state. Party veterans Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and State Congress President and Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar has managed to resolve differences between them.
Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah seem united and focused since the formation of the cabinet. The Congress has allocated important cabinet posts to Dalits, OBCs and minorities and also ensured due representation to dominant castes. By electing a Muslim Assembly Speaker for the first time in the state’s history and allotting two cabinet portfolios, the party has ensured that the Muslim vote bank is retained.
The announcement of the dates for the implementation of the guarantee schemes has been appreciated by the people of the state, irrespective of party or ideology. Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar has described it as historic and said that for the first time in the country five big guarantees were implemented in a day.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced on Friday that all the five guarantees would be implemented in this financial year. The scheme of free bus travel will be implemented from June 11. Free electricity will be given up to 200 units from July. Two thousand rupees will be given to the female head of the family from August and 10 kg rice free from July 1 to all the members of BPL card.
After the Karnataka Congress government announced the date for implementation of the five guarantees, Shivakumar challenged that it was now the turn of the central government to keep its promises. Soon the central government will have to face a litmus test in the form of the Lok Sabha elections. They will have to fulfill their promises to pass the exam, he said.
Commenting on the criticism by opposition parties, especially the BJP, on the guarantee schemes, Shivakumar said that instead of criticizing, the Prime Minister should bring back black money from abroad and deposit Rs 15 lakh in individual bank accounts as promised. Shivakumar said that they (BJP) should create 2 crore jobs and double the income of farmers which they had promised.
On the other hand, the BJP is yet to elect the Leader of Opposition and the state unit has failed to rekindle the enthusiasm among the party workers. Former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is finding it difficult to answer repeated questions regarding the selection of the Leader of the Opposition.
People are not paying heed to former Chief Minister Bommai’s attacks on the Congress party after the announcement of the guarantee schemes, calling them a farce. The BJP had won 25 of the 28 seats in the state in the last Lok Sabha election, when former CM B.S. Yeddyurappa was at the helm and was leading the party.
After the Balakot incident and the central government’s retaliatory action against Pakistan in 2019, the Congress won only one seat in the Modi wave. AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge also lost the election on his home turf against BJP candidate Umesh Jadhav.
Now that the joint efforts of PM Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have failed in the Karnataka Assembly elections, the Congress is clearly aiming to win more than 20 seats. Mallikarjun Kharge has avenged that defeat. His talk of describing himself as the son of the land of Karnataka hit the hearts of the people and failed the campaign of PM Modi and Amit Shah.
Sources in the Congress party confirmed that the process of selecting candidates for the Lok Sabha polls has already begun. While retaining the Dalit and Muslim vote bank, the Congress is confident that it will leave no option to the BJP to get back the Lingayat vote bank. The Vokkaliga community has now rallied behind Deputy Chief Minister Shivakumar.
The party is also planning to hold elections for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for the municipal elections in the IT city of Bengaluru. While the Congress is taking a cautious but aggressive stand against Hindutva, the BJP camp, divided by internal strife, looks lethargic and weak.