LS election results 2024: Though setback for Karnataka Congress, its tally up to nine

“If not for the five guarantees and the kin of leaders, including ministers, being fielded, the results could have been far worse.
The party, which expected to win 15 seats, failed to reach even the double digit.
The party, which expected to win 15 seats, failed to reach even the double digit.

BENGALURU: The results of the 28 Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka came as a setback for the Congress government, led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister and KPCC president DK Shivakumar, as the Grand Old Party(GOP) could not emerge with flying colours despite being the ruling dispensation. The party, which expected to win 15 seats, failed to reach even the double digit.

The only consolation is that the tally went up to nine from the pathetic one in 2019. For Shivakumar, his younger brother DK Suresh’s defeat in Bengaluru Rural was a big shock, while for Siddaramaiah, losing the Mysuru-Kogadu seat was a major setback.

AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge, who is also the INDIA bloc chief, saved the party the blushes in his home state as it won all the five seats in the Kalyana-Karnataka region -- Bidar, Raichur, Ballari, Koppal and Kalaburagi. Kharge settled scores with BJP, ensuring the victory of his son-in-law Radhakrishna Doddamani, who defeated Dr Umesh Jhadav. It was Jadhav who beat Kharge from Kalaburagi in 2019.

“If not for the five guarantees and the kin of leaders, including ministers, being fielded, the results could have been far worse. The party lost three to four seats, including Kolar, due to internal bickering as Food and Civil Supplies Minister KH Muniyappa was sulking because his son-in-law was denied the party ticket,” party insiders said.

Despite the party improving its vote share from 42.88 per cent in the 2023 Assembly elections to 45.34 per cent, it didn’t reflect in the number of seats. “Had the party’s rank and file worked as diligently as it did in the Assembly polls, Congress would have won 14-15 seats,” a leader said.  

The party, which expected to win 15 seats, failed to reach even the double digit.
BJP ups vote share, but faces challenges ahead in Karnataka

BJP and JDS alliance worked with their combined vote share crossing 52 per cent, observed a Vokkaliga Congress leader. He admitted that Shivakumar, who had emerged as a strong Vokkaliga leader in the Old Mysuru region in the Assembly polls, took a beating in this poll. Shivakumar had given tickets to eight Vokkaligas, but all of them  lost, except Shreyas Patel in Hassan.

The party was wiped out in Bengaluru and Malnad-coastal areas. In the Old Mysuru region, it managed to win Chamarajanagar through Social Welfare Minister HC Mahadevappa’s son Sunil Bose, and Hassan, where the victory is attributed to NDA candidate Prajwal Revanna’s alleged sex scandal. It picked up a seat in Kittur-Karnataka as PWD Minister Satish Jarkiholi’s daughter Priyanka won from Chikkodi. In central Karnataka, Horticulture Minister SS Mallikarjun’s wife Prabha won from Davanagere.

The results could pave the way for party leaders to pinprick ministers, especially those identified with Siddaramaiah, and to seek more deputy chief minister posts. Also, some have demanded the KPCC president post which could happen in the near future as even Shivakumar is prepared to quit, a source said. It could be a minister from the cabinet and high command will take a decision, the source added. Before that, Shivakumar is likely to submit a report on the performance of ministers to the high command. Some may even be dropped.

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