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Rediff News  All News  » News » Congress upbeat after thumping victory in K'taka by-polls

Congress upbeat after thumping victory in K'taka by-polls

August 24, 2013 16:56 IST

The thumping victory for the Congress in the by-elections in Karnataka has renewed their hope of winning 25 seats in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

Although the expectations may be far fetched, the ruling Congress feels that there is a solid wave in their favour in the state and they could win big in 2014.

The Congress high command is understood to have told Chief Minister Siddaramaiah that he should get the party 25 seats. However, practically speaking the Congress may be able to manage 15 out of the 28 seats. 

The Congress would, however, draw positives out of Saturday’s wins. In both constituencies -- Bangalore rural and Mandya -- they won by margins of 1,37,000 and 67,000 votes respectively.

This has pleased the Congress no end and they feel that this trend could repeat all through Karnataka. Moreover the victories have been in strong Janata Dal-Secular belts the victories have given them a boost. 

Although the Bharatiya Janata Party did not field any candidate, the loss is however not for them. Under no circumstance could the BJP have won these seats.

The biggest loser is the JD-S. Mandya, Hassan and Bangalore rural were the only winning constituencies for them in the national level. Now, the only hope for the JD-S is Hassan from where former Prime Minister Deve Gowda contests.

Siddaramaiah has been credited with Saturday's victory. No doubt it is a moral victory for him, but the real stars were D K Shivakumar and Ambareesh who pulled in the votes. 

For Siddaramaiah the bigger task begins now. He needs to ensure that the Congress has to put up a major show in the general elections.

If the BJP announces Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate then the Congress will find it tough in various urban belts, the coastal areas of Mangalore, Udupi and also North Karnataka which have been strong BJP belts.

In order to ensure that the Congress wins over 18 seats, Siddaramaiah will have to eat into the BJP's vote share like he did during the assembly elections earlier this year.

Although right from the start it was clear that the Congress would win, there were egos and prestige at stake. Anita Kumaraswamy, wife of H D Kumaraswamy and daughter-in-law of Deve Gowda was up against D Suresh of the Congress.

Anita, who had lost the assembly elections, needed a win to save her political career. Moreover, it was a battle for the Vokkaliga votes between the two parties. JD-S chief Deve Gowda, who is called as the champion of the Vokkaligas, could do little to salvage pride.

Ramya, who made her electoral debut, trounced C Puttaraju by 67,611 votes at Mandya while Suresh beat Anita by 1,37,000 votes at Bangalore rural.

This victory is considered to be a major victory for Siddaramaiah in particular who completes 100 days in office on Saturday. He is known to be in a battle with Deve Gowda whose party he was part of. He had quit the JD-S terming it as a “family party”.

This is a moral victory for Siddaramaiah who has always been considered an outsider in the Congress as he is just five years old to the party. However, this is just one hurdle crossed and the bigger test for him is the general elections next year. The Congress is banking heavy on Karnataka as they are down in other southern states.

Political analysts say that the biggest loss is for the JD-S and the Gowda family. They had held these seats but ended up losing them very badly. They put up a bad show in the assembly elections as well.

Ironically for them they have been losing in Vokkaliga belts which are a big cause for worry. The JD-S needs to now look for survival and will conduct a brainstorming session to ensure that they survive until the next elections.

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore