BENGALURU: Siddaramaiah’s Congress seems to be confident of halting Modi- Shah juggernaut. However, the next 45 days will be crucial for the party to keep up its momentum and guard against any major follies that could undo its gains.
Normally, towards the end of the five-year tenure, governments and ruling parties are hit by anti-incumbency factor and aggressive opposition looking to make the most of it. Although BJP and JD(S) are aggressive in their no-holds barred attack on the Siddaramaiah government, there is no anti-incumbency factor against the government. That is a single biggest achievement of the CM.
“Anti-incumbency factor sets in when people reject the government and its policies. There is no such factor in the state,” political analyst Prof Harish Ramaswamy told The New Indian Express. He said Congress can be confident as the BJP is unable to effectively counter the government in crucial issues such as minority religion status to the Lingayats. Congress, however, needs to watch out for trouble from within. “The party has involved too many leaders in the ticket distribution process. Once the candidates are finalised, they start pulling each other and that could make matters bad,” he cautioned.
Ensuring unity among the party leaders during electioneering will be a major challenge for the party that has many strong leaders. Many leaders including KPCC president G Parameshwara, Energy Minister D K Shivakumar and senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge nourish the ambition of being the CM. Congress leaders have maintained that the high command will decide the next CM.
However, a senior Congress leader told TNIE that the party high command has already conveyed it to top leaders that Siddaramaiah will continue as the CM.Political observers, however, opine that he needs to guard against JD(S)-BSP efforts to split minority votes. It can do some damage in constituencies with significant scheduled caste votes.