A Congress supporter waves the party flag during the road show of the All India Congress Committee president Rahul Gandhi in Bengaluru. (Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Snapshot
  • While it is politics as usual for the Congress, the Congress voter unfortunately stands most to lose from the 2018 Karnataka Assembly election.

The drama is on. Monologue after monologue is being delivered. In the last 24 hours, Karnataka has witnessed a high-profile election saga which is still playing out, what with a new twist emerging every few hours.

The stakes are high, no doubt. While it will take little time for all the drama to settle down, with each of the leaders claiming to be the next chief minister, the biggest loser in all this ruckus is the Congress worker and voter (apart from the former chief minister, of course).

Besides the fact that the Chief Minister lost to the Janata Dal (Secular) [JD(S)] candidate in Chamundeshwari, that too with a massive margin of 36,000 votes, his plight is pitiable given that even before he could come to terms with what the electorate had pronounced, his party high command had called up the leader of the party with the least numbers and offered to make him the chief minister.

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Siddaramaiah had no say whatever, nor would he have any words now. But the even bigger losers are those that voted for the Congress. The struggle and fight they put up to see their party back in power went in vain, especially in constituencies like the Chief Minister’s Chamundeshwari, where the fight was mainly between the Congress and the JD(S).

In Arkalgud, Manju A, the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of the Congress lost to the JD(S) candidate A T Ramaswamy by 10,653 votes. In Arasikere, the MLA of the JD(S) defeated the Congress candidate G B Shashidhara by 43,689 votes. In Belur, which was held by the Congress, the JD(S) candidate Lingesha K S defeated the present Congress candidate H K Suresh by 19,690 votes. The fight in Bhadravati too, was between the JD(S) and the Congress, where the Congress candidate B K Sangameshwara won by 11,567 votes.

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But as the sun set on 15 May, it also dashed the hopes of the Congress voter. What had they voted for? Is it to see their opponent be offered the throne while they wondered what went wrong? In most constituencies, as we can see from the numbers above, they fought tooth and nail. But alas, just to watch their tiger go toothless.

The Bharatiya Janata Party is the single-largest party in the state. It can always laud itself for the mighty comeback. But the Congress party’s dream of power rests in the hands of the woman holding the stack of hay on her head. Should she decide to just walk away, the Congress will have nothing in its hands. It still doesn’t have much.

For its fate depends on what the party with the least votes in this election decides to do. The Congress, despite being the party with the largest vote share in the election, is at the mercy of the party which has less than half of its vote share.

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The Congress voter is probably feeling the most terrible right now, for neither does their party have the majority nor will they be able to set their terms in this coalition, for like they say, beggars can’t be choosers.

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