Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy called the alliance’s success in the current round of by-elections a “moral victory” and said it was an answer to the BJP claims that his tie-up with the Congress will prove short-lived. “We will now work towards getting the full state. We want to win 28 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the future,” he said.
“This win is a moral victory after the BJP kept claiming that our coalition is not working. The BJP always picked on the coalition. People have given their answer. They kept saying all of this was politics. But we have an answer today,” Mr Kumaswamy said.
In the by-elections for three Lok Sabha seats — Ballari, Mandya and Shivamogga — and assembly seats Ramanagara and Jamakhandi, the BJP has managed to retain only Shivamogga, the bastion of its state chief BS Yeddyurappa.
While Mr Kumaraswamy’s Janata Dal Secular has retained Mandya, the Congress has wrested Ballari, the BJP’s long-held stronghold located in the mining-rich backyard of party strongmen, the Reddy brothers and their aide Sriramulu.
While Mr Kumaraswamy thanked senior Congress leaders DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah, who was also his predecessor, for the success, his words indicated some reservations about the defeat in Shivamogga.
“There were a lot of people who opposed the alliance and the decisions. If we were prepared properly, we could have also won Shivamogga,” he said.
The Chief Minister, however, thanked the people in Shivamogga too, and said, “Victory and losses keep happening. This win is just a reminder that people want us to be responsible. And that is what we will do.”