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Amid scrutiny of LS polls results, Karnataka Congress differences back out in the open

With its government heading Karnataka, the expectation in the Congress in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections was that it was in with a chance to win at least 15 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state. But the party fell way short, managing to win only nine seats as the BJP-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition held its ground. In the aftermath of the elections, as the party reviews its performance, the faultlines in the faction-ridden Karnataka unit are again coming to the fore.

As soon as the results were out, state Public Works Department (PWD) minister Satish Jarkiholi, the Yemkanmaradi MLA, appeared to take a dig at Deputy Chief Minister and Karnataka Congress president D K Shivakumar. Jarkiholi said more candidates would have won if the “captain issued proper directions”. Likening the elections to a movie, Jarkiholi, who is considered to be in the Siddaramaiah camp, said the Congress would have succeeded in the state if there were “proper directions and a script”.

The remarks attracted much attention, prompting Jarkiholi to issue a clarification. In another statement on June 7, he said his “criticism was aimed at party candidates who were complacent and did not work hard to secure wins”.

Shivakumar responded saying that the party would introspect the causes of winning fewer seats than expected, while Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has reportedly sought a report on the party’s performance in Karnataka.

But following Jarkiholi’s remarks others joined in. Tumkur Rural MLA B Harish Gowda blamed the Siddaramaiah camp for the defeat of Shivakumar’s brother D K Suresh from the Bengaluru Rural constituency. “Siddaramaiah and team conspired to defeat D K Suresh. This is a ploy to keep Shivakumar out of the CM race,” he alleged.


Read more on indianexpress.com