B. Ramanath Rai, Minister for Forests, Environment and Ecology and president of the Dakshina Kannada Pradesh Congress Committee, said that the party’s poor performance in the Parliamentary election, was because of an “anti-incumbency factor”.

Talking to reporters here on Sunday, he said, “The cause for the defeat of senior Congress leader B. Janardhana Poojary was no different from what the party’s candidates in the other parts of the country faced.” He said there was no question of stepping down from the president’s post because of the defeat.

He and other seven MLAs worked in unison with the partymen during the campaign. “We are pained over the defeat of a person like Mr. Poojary,” he said. The BJP has made a lot of promises to people and that the Congress were “closely watching the way they will work”, he said.

Asked whether the party had not received votes from minorities, Mr. Rai said the Congress has been known for its secular credentials. “We do not feel that the secular credentials of the party was an anathema.” Commenting on his outlook for a mutual partnership, Mr. Rai said, “Our government was at the Centre when Mr. Modi was Chief Minister. We are hopeful of a similar cooperation now.”

In another function, Health Minister U.T. Khader said, “There will be problems if you go beyond your limits.” There will not be any problem in getting funds for legitimate works, he said.

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