Congress leaders blame Siddaramaiah for Karnataka defeat, he gets "emotional"
Following an embarrassing defeat in the Karnataka election at the hands of BJP, Siddaramaiah has become a center of the blame-game inside the Congress. Reportedly, senior leaders blamed him for failing to get majority in Karnataka elections, after which Siddaramaiah got "emotional." The Congress leaders accused him of single-handedly finalizing candidates for the election, and the way he dealt with Lingayat issue. Here's more.
Why special status to Lingayats didn't favor the Congress?
The 69-year-old outgoing Chief Minister had his bet to tap into the Lingayat votes by giving them a religious minority status right before the elections. But, the BJP who held its card on Lingayats until then, took the opportunity to attack Siddaramaiah for dividing Hindus. Cut to the result, BJP was far ahead of the Congress and secured majority of the Lingayat dominated seats.
The electoral importance of the Lingayats
Lingayats dominate voting on 100 seats out of 224-strong Karnataka constituencies. In 2008, the BJP had given 71 tickets to Lingayats and won the assembly elections, while in 2013 when Congress won 47 seats in Lingayat dominant areas, they emerged as the clear winner.
Overconfidence almost cost Siddaramaiah both the seats
Siddaramaiah almost saved himself from an embarrassing defeat. He lost Chamundeshwari by over 36,000 votes, while in Badami, he won only by 1,696 votes against BJP's Sriramulu. In hindsight, Siddaramaiah's choice to contest from Chamundeshwari and not from his incumbent Varuna constituency, shows his overconfidence. He made his son Yatheendra fight from Varuna, which he won.