‘Adjustment politics’, Ministers’ ‘indifference’ led to tepid show by Congress in Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka, AICC panel told

‘Distribution of party ticket to children of Ministers also caused disenchantment’

Updated - July 12, 2024 10:53 am IST

Published - July 11, 2024 09:50 pm IST - Bengaluru

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar during a meeting with All India Congress Committee leaders headed by Madhusudan Mistry, Members of Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi and Hibi Eden, at KPCC office in Bengaluru.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar during a meeting with All India Congress Committee leaders headed by Madhusudan Mistry, Members of Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi and Hibi Eden, at KPCC office in Bengaluru. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The simmering internal differences in the Congress seem to have come out into the open with allegations being made before the AICC fact-finding committee of “adjustment politics” and “indifference to elections” shown by Ministers, leading to the tepid performance by the party in the Lok Sabha elections.

Some senior Ministers have been accused of colluding with BJP and Janata Dal (S) and working against the Congress candidates resulting in defeat, party sources said.?“The general feeling is that the Congress lost six to eight seats due to internal rift, jealousy, ego, and adjustments,” sources said.

Distribution of party ticket to children of Ministers led to the other Ministers showing “indifference” or “working against the party candidate”, all of which were conveyed to the fact-finding committee led by AICC general secretary Madhusudan Mistry on Thursday, the sources said.

Public spat

“One of the biggest reasons identified for the party’s under performance was the public spat between senior Ministers belonging to the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister camps over leadership tussle. Things that should have been spoken on the party platform were spoken in public, and the image of the party took a beating,” they said.

The Mistry committee is in Bengaluru to ascertain the reasons for the party’s performance despite the successful implementation of five guarantees promised during 2023 Assembly polls.

While the Congress increased its tally to nine in 2024 from one in 2019, it fell short of its expectation of winning 14 to 16 seats in Karnataka. The party conceded leads in more than 130 Assembly constituencies, including in over a dozen constituencies that are represented by Ministers.

Cadre stayed away

Among the many other reasons for such a performance by the party that were cited, sources said, were lack of coordination between party and government, differences between party legislators and district in-charge Ministers, and district in-charge Ministers not helping party workers in getting their work done.

“The cadre that had enthusiastically worked in the 2023 Assembly elections stayed away from Lok Sabha elections at many places because they had been neglected by district in-charge Ministers. Also, the party workers failed to effectively communicate the benefits brought about by the guarantee schemes,” the sources said.

They said that most of the interaction with Ministers, legislators, and senior leaders were held one on one while some of?those who have made serious allegations against individual Ministers and legislators have been asked to give their grievances in writing.

“Though no immediate action is being contemplated, especially against the Ministers, it will be held against them during the Cabinet reshuffle in the future,” according to party sources.

Introspection will go on

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar’s interaction with the fact-finding committee will continue on Friday.?

“From one seat in the previous Lok Sabha, the Congress has won nine seats now. We were expecting to win 15 seats in this election but it did happen. The introspection on where we slipped is happening. It is not only happening with respect to Karnataka but also across the country,” he told reporters here.

“The Chief Minister (Mr. Siddaramaiah) and I will also introspect on the reasons with leaders in the State. I will also send reports for four divisions (in the State), he added.”

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