Prahlad Rao | August 25, 2015
In a democracy political parties lose elections and some are won. And in a century of its existence the Congress party has many humiliating defeats and unbelievable victories. However, the party does not seem to have taken its defeat in elections to Bengaluru municipal corporation in right spirit.
The BJP won 100 of the BBMP's 198 wards, the Congress 76 and the Janata Dal (Secular) 14 in the polling that took place on Saturday and whose results came out today.
Karnataka Congress president G Parameshwara today called the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) poll results very disappointing. This remark is well within the parameters of politically correct reactions. Next he said ‘this verdict will impact city’s development.” This comment is totally unacceptable and politically incorrect. Congress is the ruling party and it controls money and the threat could be bad for the city.
We understand his disappointment, but it is wrong to threaten the citizens of Bengaluru in such manner. The Congress should also take note of the demographic numbers in the IT capital of the nation. Bengaluru now has nearly 80% non-Kannadigas and they come from all over India. If the party is going to be vengeful and blocks the city’s development, the consequences would be felt in India.
Bengaluru can also trigger social media backlash and the Congress has shown that it is very poor in handling the perception of the virtual world.
For the record, this is the third big victory for the BJP this month after it won civic elections in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
It was noted by prime minister Narendra Modi. "After MP & Rajasthan, BBMP poll results complete a hat-trick of wins for BJP. This is a win for politics of development & good governance," tweeted Modi as his party celebrated in Bengaluru.
The PM should also feel happy because for the first time, 50 per cent seats were reserved for the women candidates.
There was big buzz but the elections saw less than 50 per cent voter turnout on Saturday. Many young professionals had contested this time and Bengaluru faces big problems like traffic, bad roads, poor garbage disposal and polluted lakes.
Meanwhile, a visibly disturbed Karnataka Congress leader and chief minister Siddaramaiah said "I own responsibility for the performance of the Congress in the civic polls. The BJP was in power in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Council for the last five years. Their rule was marred by corruption and scams. But people still voted for them."
Pointing out that the BJP had lost the New Delhi Assembly election though it had come to power in the centre, Siddaramaiah, who was in Delhi yesterday, said the loss at the civic polls did not reflect on his government. "The BJP lost miserably in the New Delhi Assembly polls. Do you think it was a referendum of the NDA government at the Centre? Elections to urban local bodies are completely different involving local issues," he maintained.
The chief minister, however, admitted that his party did not get the campaign right. "I feel we failed to convince the voters why they should have voted us to power. We did not effectively communicate our achievements and plans for Bengaluru," he said.
Effective communication is different than miscommunication. The Congress should remember this.
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