‘Root cause of Cong. defeat in 2019 polls was alliance with JD(S)’

Fact-finding panel submits report

The lack of coordination between the alliance partners — Congress and JD(S) — at the booth, block and district levels, and confusion in the coalition government headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy were major factors for the poor performace of the Congress in the 2019 general elections, according to a fact-finding committee.

The committee headed by V.R. Sudarshan, State Congress vice-president and former chairman, Karnataka Legislative Council, found lack of co-ordination between the Congress and the JD(S) in 22 constituencies. It found some level of coordination only in six constituencies — Shivamogga, Hassan, Bengaluru Rural, and three seats in Bengaluru city.

The six-member committee — constituted by the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) — recommended against entering into alliance with the JD(S) in the future in elections to local bodies, Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha.

The panel members on Tuesday submitted the report to KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao and said the root cause of the party’s defeat was the alliance with the JD(S). After the formation of the coalition government in the State in May 2018, the Congress and the JD(S) contested in 22 and six seats respectively, in the 2019 elections. Both parties won one seat each, BJP - 25 and Independent - 1.

The panel, which held interactions with voters, party workers and defeated candidates, said the Congress had never experienced such a setback in the history of parliamentary election in the State. Noting the percentage of votes bagged by the Congress and the JD(S), the panel said voters and party workers had not accepted the alliance. In the 2018 Assembly elections, the total votes bagged by the Congress and JD(S) was 57% and it declined to 41% in 2019. The BJP received 51% votes in 2019. Despite the farm loan waiver and pro-people schemes, the alliance had not secured votes to win seats, it said.

There was a direct contest between the Janata Parivar and the Congress in Mysuru and Bengaluru revenue divisions since 1977. “In this background, the JD(S) voters too had not supported Congress in 2019” the committee found.

During interactions with panel members, the report said “all district workers, office-bearers and defeated candidates in 2019 elections opposed continuation of alliance with the JD(S) in future elections.” However, it favoured alliance or adjustment in “unavoidable and special circumstances” at the local, State and central level to keep the BJP out of power.

The panel members toured the state for the last three months and found that lack of unity and absence of collective fight among like-minded parties against faulty policies of the NDA government led by the BJP paved the way for defeat of alliance candidates.

The committee recommended party legislators and MPs contribute ₹5,000, ₹4,000, and ₹3,000 every month to KPCC, District Congress Committee (DCC) and Block Congress committees (BCC). Nominated or elected members to top posts in the government could contribute ₹3,000, ₹2,000 and ₹1,000 to KPCC, DCC and BCC, it said.

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Printable version | Mar 27, 2020 7:59:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/root-cause-of-cong-defeat-in-2019-polls-was-alliance-with-jds/article29569223.ece

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