The Karnataka electorate has done its job, voting out what was perhaps the most corrupt and inefficient government in the State. It has also ensured that there is no hung Assembly, by giving the Congress the necessary numbers to run a stable government. But the Grand Old Party should be mindful of the fact that the verdict is more against the BJP than in favour of the Congress. It should work hard to give people the long-awaited corruption free, development-oriented governance.
The Congress should bear in mind that the verdict is not an endorsement of its policies but a rejection of the BJP. The people of Karnataka could no longer tolerate political instability and the infighting in the BJP. The election results are certainly not indicative of the 2014 general election outcome. Only local issues determined the Karnataka verdict.
It is heartening that the Karnataka electorate has given a decisive verdict. The end result — a fitting lesson to an individual who felt he was above his party and challenged it using caste calculations. What the Congress has got is no doubt a negative vote but it is also an opportunity for the party to provide good governance and stabilise itself. Karnataka was the first State from south India to welcome the BJP to extend its national presence. Unfortunately, the party squandered away the golden opportunity.
People have shown the BJP the door because of its indecisiveness in dealing with indiscipline. If the BJP’s central leadership is serious about eliminating corruption, it should show some spine in tackling the same within the party — the lack of which was very evident in various episodes involving Karnataka.
As expected, the BJP was decimated and swept away by a strong anti-incumbency wave. Under the BJP government, corruption was the rule and the state exchequer was dissipated. Much time was spent in quibbling over the leadership issue, rather than attending to the problems of the people. The party should accept the verdict with humility and learn a lesson or two before facing the general election in 2014.
The people of Karnataka have given a fitting reply to the indisciplined BJP. If its leaders do not shed their jealousy and infighting, they may meet a similar fate in 2014.
It is heartening that the people of Karnataka have wholeheartedly voted for the Congress. Rahul Gandhi deserves to be lauded for doing his homework and meticulously screening the candidates.
The ball is now in the Congress high command’s court. It should make the best use of this golden opportunity. As a first step, it should resume image building activities, discipline its leaders through a well designed code of conduct, and keep an eye on their performance.
It was B.S. Yeddyurappa who built the BJP in Karnataka. And it was the same Yeddyurappa who is largely to blame for its decimation. The party’s defeat is its own making. The Congress would do well to realise this and refrain from attributing its victory to Rahul Gandhi or Sonia Gandhi.
R. Jagadeesewara Rao,
Keywords: Karnataka assembly polls