Rahul Gandhi unhappy with Karnataka Congress performance in Lok Sabha polls, demands accountability

Rahul Gandhi is said to have asked the Karnataka Congress leadership to submit a report on its performance in each Lok Sabha seat.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Jun 07, 2024 | 9:02 PMUpdatedJun 07, 2024 | 9:02 PM

Karnataka Congress Rahul Gandhi 2024 Lok Sabha Polls

All-India Congress Committee (AICC) former chief Rahul Gandhi is said to have expressed unhappiness before the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) leadership on Friday, 7 June, over the unit’s performance in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls in the state.

Rahul Gandhi was on a one-day visit to Bengaluru on Friday to attend the bail hearing of a defamation case filed in a special court by BJP in connection with Congress’ “PayCM” campaign in the run-up to the 2023 Assembly elections.

The court granted conditional bail to Rahul Gandhi and adjourned the hearing to 31 July.

After the court hearing, the former AICC president held a meeting with Congress candidates in the Lok Sabha polls at the party’s state headquarters.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar — who is also the KPCC chief — accompanied Rahul Gandhi in the meeting with party leaders.

In the meeting, Rahul is said to have asked the state leadership to submit a report on each Lok Sabha seat at the earliest.

Related: Karnataka Congress counts reasons for below-par performance

Congress’ performance in Karnataka

Congress failed to win more than nine seats for the fifth consecutive Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka.

In the recently concluded elections, Congress settled for exactly nine seats and lost in 19 constituencies.

In this election, the party fielded children of six ministers: Three won and three lost.

The party swept the Kalyana Karnataka region, but it failed to put up a similar performance in Kittur, Central, coastal, and South Karnataka.

On condition of anonymity, a senior Cabinet minister told South First: “Rahul Gandhi was dismayed over the party’s performance in the Lok Sabha polls, considering the party being at the helm in Karnataka.”

The minister added: “He was expecting more Lok Sabha seats from the state as we put up a stellar performance in the 2023 Assembly polls.”

He also said: “It was a historic mandate given by the people. We were expecting a similar mandate in the Lok Sabha elections as well.”

The minister then noteD: “However, nine Lok Sabha seats have not made Rahul Gandhi happy about the party’s performance here.”

Meanwhile, Rahul has reportedly asked the state leadership — including the chief minister — to submit a detailed report on the party’s performance in the Lok Sabha polls.

Shivakumar told reporters: “Rahul Gandhi has talked to all the ministers on the matter. We will also discuss this.”

He added: “I have also asked about accountability. We will discuss and submit the report. We will hold talks constituency-wise and submit the report.”

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Rahul’s recommendations

Extending wishes to the newly elected parliamentarians, MP Rahul Gandhi asked the elected MPs to respond to people’s grievances and strengthen the party base in their respective constituencies.

Interestingly, all the newly elected nine Members of Parliament (MPs) are entering the Lok Sabha members for the first time.

Minister for Forest Sagar Khandre’s son Sagar Khandre, 26, is the youngest parliamentarian to be elected from Karnataka.

Minister for Public Works Satish Jarkiholi’s daughter and Chikkodi’s newly elected MP Priyanka Jarkiholi is the youngest tribal woman ever to be elected in Karnataka since independence.

All these newly elected MPs were congratulated by Rahul Gandhi during the meeting held at state party headquarters on Friday.

On meeting with Rahul Gandhi, Chikkodi MP Priyanka Jarkiholi told South First: “The meeting was for a brief period. I could not interact much with him. I am hopeful of meeting him again in Delhi.”

She added: “He asked all the MPs to address the grievances of the people and strengthen the party base in our respective constituencies.”

Congress’ Dharwad nominee Vinod Asooti told South First: “He instilled confidence among the defeated candidate. He told us not to lose confidence over the poll results.”

Asooti added: “He stressed strengthening the party base at the grassroots level, keeping in mind the upcoming local body elections.”

On Rahul Gandhi’s message to the party leaders in Karnataka, Minister for Forest Eshwar Khandre told South First: “Rahul instructed to be ready for the future fight against the communal and dictatorial forces.”

He added: “There is a demand from all the sections that Rahul lead from the front. He should accept the opposition leader post and fight against BJP.”

(Edited by Arkadev Ghoshal)