MYSURU: If the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections has boosted prospects of BJP forming a government in the state, drubbing of the Congress in Mysore and in old Mysore region as well as in Bagalkot has dented the charisma of Congress leader Siddaramaiah. The elections were a test for vote-gathering ability of the veteran leader who had personally campaigned across the state. However, the defeat in Mysuru, Chamarajanagar and Bagalkot came as a huge blow for the Congress leader.
Siddaramaiah could not win against the Modi wave in the state and BJP’s nationalistic issues that were played up ahead of polls. That aside, defeat of candidates from Siddaramaiah’s own community has also come under serious criticism from his former cabinet colleague Roshan Baig. On the other hand, his political foe and veteran dalit leader B Srininvas Prasad who contested on a BJP ticket managed to win LS elections defeating his confidante R Dhruvanarayan.
Siddaramaiah has also come under fire in JDS circles for the defeat of Nikhil Kumaraswamy by a huge margin in Mandya LS constituency. Defeat of coalition candidates in Siddaramaiah’s home turf and in old Mysuru region has also brought him under the scanner of Congress
high command and state leaders.
The former Chief Minister somehow managed to get a Congress ticket for CH Vijayashankar in Mysuru-Kodagu LS constituency, but the latter lost to BJP’s Pratap Simha by a margin of 1.39 lakh.
Siddaramaiah’s failure to take leaders of both Congress and JDS on board and to put up a United show also cost the Congress a few seat. He also failed to hold on to the AHINDA votes while not being able to break ice with dominant Vokkaliga voters.
The JDS has blamed Siddaramaiah for BJP’s victory in Tumakuru as well as former PM Devegowda was keen to contest from Mysuru. Veena Kashappannavar lost with a huge margin in Bagalkot. Political commentator Harish Ramaswamy told The New Indian Express that charisma of both Siddaramaiah and Congress has waned. “The Congress failed to sense the undercurrent that was in favour of Modi. The party also continued to attack the government and defence forces that did not go well with the voters,” he added.