A formidable opposition

Published : Jun 20, 2008 00:00 IST

Mallikarjun Kharge with former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh-ARUN

Mallikarjun Kharge with former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh-ARUN

THE Karnataka unit of the Congress is neither happy nor unhappy with the election results given the fact that the party has performed better than it did in 2004. It has got 15 more seats than it got in 2004 with almost the same vote share.

Pradesh Congress Committee president Mallikarjun Kharge, who was elected the leader of the Congress Legislature Party, said: It was really touch-and-go for the party. A few more seats would have enabled us to form the government akin to the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has formed the government thanks to the support extended by some independents.

He echoed the sentiment in the Janata Dal (Secular) when he said: We have accepted the peoples verdict and have decided to sit in the Opposition. He added: Although upset with the JD(S), which has let us down, we may contemplate on floor coordination with that party in the Assembly. Put together, the Congress and the JD(S) constitute a formidable opposition. A section of Congress leaders opined that had the party projected a chief ministerial candidate it could have netted more number of seats.

The KPCC president said the Congress lost nearly 30 seats which were classified by the party as sure seats. Most of these seats were lost by a narrow margin and among the losers were former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh, R.V. Deshpande, H.K. Patil, M.R. Seetharam, K. Chandrashekar, A.B. Patil and A. Krishnappa. All of them are important leaders of the Congress.

Mallikarjun Kharge said: Several election-related committees, including an election coordination and management committee, an election committee, and so on were constituted. But the time was too short and very little could be done. Added to this was the overconfidence that we will do much better. Several candidates also believed that there was hardly any opposition to them in their respective constituencies. The division in the secular vote also worked in favour of the BJP. All these did us in.

S. Rajendran
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