Congress failed to capitalise on public anger against BJP in HDMC polls

Since the BJP was in power in the HDMC for the previous two terms and a majority of MLAs in the twin cities belong to it, it was expected that the party will retain power.

Published: 09th September 2021 06:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th September 2021 06:10 AM   |  A+A-

BJP Flag, Congress Flag

For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

HUBBALLI: Though the BJP faced huge anti-incumbency, the Congress failed to cash in on it and improve its tally in the Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) elections. The reason, according to political pundits, is that the Congress failed to project itself as a credible alternative.

Since the BJP was in power in the HDMC for the previous two terms and a majority of MLAs in the twin cities belong to it, it was expected that the party will retain power. Also, the party is ruling the state for the past two years, and it was felt that this factor could have a bearing on the civic body poll outcome.

The BJP has tried to develop the twin cities, but the bad condition of roads, irregular drinking water supply, incomplete civic works and other issues have angered  voters. People were vocal about it both on public and online platforms.

This provided a good opportunity for opponents to project alternative ideas for development. Political observers say though the Congress was well aware of it, it did not show enough zeal to channelise public anger to work in its favour. “Its every effort to counter the BJP’s claims went wrong, starting from the selection of candidates to campaigning. The party was never seen as a united force to take on the BJP,” they added.

Unhappy with the BJP, a majority of middle class voters did not come out in large numbers to vote. The party won in 33 wards, thanks to its core voters. A Congress leader, was mostly in agreement with the assessment and said though top party leaders campaigned, local leaders did not work unitedly. The entry of AIMIM and Asaduddin Owaisi’s visit were also factors for the poll debacle and should serve as a warning for the Congress, he conceded.

Congress city unit president Altaf Hallur openly admitted that mistakes were committed in the selection of candidates. He, however, did not buy the argument that the party has not worked hard to highlight the failures of the BJP. “We worked hard, otherwise the party would not have won 33 wards,” he said. Hallur agreed that many voters did not vote to register their anger.

Satish blames lack of unity for Cong debacle 
BELAGAVI: KPCC working president Satish Jarkiholi on Wednesday said that the Congress lost at least in 8 wards in the recent Belagavi City Corporation polls owing to lack of coordination between leaders of Belaagvi North and South Assembly segments.  The party had expected to win at least 20-25 seats, but ended by winning just 10. He said the Congress tally would have crossed 25 if the leaders had taken the polls seriously. He, however, said five Independents are with the party. He  said more than 3-4 MES backed candidates contested in every ward which benefited the BJP.


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