By M K Ashoka
Bengaluru, Jun 4 (IANS): Following the announcement of guarantees promised during polls in Karnataka, the Congress party is bursting with confidence to win maximum seats in Lok Sabha elections. The Congress party has garnered tremendous goodwill across the state.
After suffering a humiliating defeat in the assembly elections, opposition BJP in the state is trying hard to find a momentum in the state. The Congress high command on the other hand is successfully sending positive messages one after the other to the people of the state. The grand old party elders have managed to resolve the differences between the Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and State party President and DyCM D.K. Shivakumar.
Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah are looking united and focused post the formation of the cabinet. The Congress has allotted plum cabinet posts to Dalits, OBCs and minorities and also ensured the proper representation to dominant castes. By electing a Muslim speaker for the first time in the history of the state and alotting two cabinet portfolios, the party had ensured that Muslim vote bank remained intact.
By announcing the dates of implementation of guarantee schemes, the masses irrespective of party and affiliations have appreciated the move of Congress party. DyCM D.K. Shivakumar has described the development as historic, and the first time in the country, five guarantees of the scale were implemented in the country in a day.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday declared that all five guarantees would be implemented by this financial year. The scheme of free bus travel will come into effect by June 11. Free power up to 200 units will be given from July. Women heads will get Rs 2,000 from August and Free 10 kilograms of rice for all members of BPL card will be given from July 1.
Following the announcement of the date of implementation of five guarantees by the Karnataka Congress government, Shivakumar challenged that now it is the turn of the Union government to keep their promises. Soon, the Central government will face a litmus test in the form of Lok Sabha elections. "To pass the test, they need to keep their promises," he added.
Commenting on the criticism by the opposition parties especially BJP on guarantee schemes, Shivakumar urged that instead of criticism, let the Prime Minister bring black money from abroad and deposit Rs 15 lakh to individual bank accounts as promised. Let them (BJP) create 2 crore jobs promised to be created and double the income of farmers, Shivakumar stated.
In turn, BJP is yet to elect the leader of the opposition and the state unit is found lacking towards rejuvenating spirits of the party workers. Former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is finding it difficult to answer repeated questions regarding the selection of opposition leader.
Former CM Bommai's attack on Congress party after announcement of guarantee schemes by dubbing the development as a farce had few takers. BJP had swept 25 seats out of 28 in the last parliamentary elections when former CM B.S. Yediyurappa was at the helm and leading the party.
Congress won only one seat against the Modi wave following the Balakot incident and retaliatory action by the Central government against Pakistan in 2019. AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge too lost elections against BJP candidate Umesh Jadhav on his home turf.
Now, since PM Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah's combined efforts are falling flat in Karnataka assembly elections, the Congress is clearly aiming at winning more than 20 seats. Mallikarjun Kharge has taken the revenge as his appeal of claiming himself as Bhoomi Putra of Karnataka struck a chord with the people and sunk campaigning blitzkrieg by PM Modi and Amit Shah.
Sources in the Congress party confirmed that the process of selection of candidates has already started. With Dalit and Muslim vote banks intact, the Congress is confident that it will also give no option for the BJP to get back the Lingayat vote bank. Vokkaliga community is now rallying behind Dy CM Shivakumar.
The party is also strategising to hold elections for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to wrestle civic agency of IT city Bengaluru. While Congress is treading cautiously and aggressively against Hindutva, BJP camp is looking dull and wanting, torn with internal strife.