Bengaluru: Despite successfully implementing a slew of developmental projects, massive drubbing in the May 10 Karnataka Assembly polls has come as a major blow to the overconfident BJP, say experts.
From Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway to Upper Bhadra River Project, from fancy new International airport in Shivamogga to state-of-the art Terminal 2 at the Bengaluru International airport, BJP had just delivered projects which would ensure future growth of the state.
Besides constructing new medical colleges at Yadgir, Haveri which are considered as most backward districts, the party also built a medical college at Chikmagalur and Chikkaballapur and planned a new airport in Hassan.
It also upgraded railway stations at Davanagere, Hospet and Belagavi, the experts opine.
The BJP supporters rue that in spite of effective implementation of the projects, BJP was shunted out for freebies and over caste considerations. The social media is abuzz with such posts, triggering an intense debate.
The argument seems in place as Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway reduced travel time between two major cities of the state by two hours. The Upper Bhadra River project kindled hope in the whole region of central Karnataka. Swanky terminal 2 at the Bengaluru airport was the pride of all Kannada people. Medical colleges in the aspirational districts lifted up prospectus of the regions and people cheered for them.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had personally flown down to Shivamogga to inaugurate the international airport on the occasion of the birthday of former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa. It was the dream project of Yediyurappa.
While campaigning, the PM had said that he would depute the whole of New Delhi in the service of Karnataka people. However, nothing seems to have worked for the saffron party.
On the other hand, Congress's promises of free 10 kilograms of rice, 200 units of free power, Rs 2,000 allowance for women, Rs 2,000 allowance for two years for unemployed graduates, Rs 1,500 for unemployed youth and free travel for women in state transport struck a chord with masses.
The projects implemented by BJP didn't give relief for masses belonging to below poverty line, poor, lower middle class and middle class reeling under price rise.
Karnataka Congress President D.K. Shivakumar appealed to voters on polling day not to forget to see their LPG cylinders and the whopping cost and then cast their votes.
Also, the voters didn't like Muslim hatred propagated by the BJP and Hindutva forces. The pot-boiling situation during the hijab crisis, boycott calls on Muslim traders, revenge killings, focus of Al-Qaeda terrorist organisation and cooker bomb blast also didn't go down well with the peace loving people of Karnataka.
BJP's attempts of reversal of Muslim quota and pitting major Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities against Muslims also fell flat. Vokkaliga seer intervened and ordered BJP leaders not to rake up the issue of Uri Gowda and Nanje Gowda killing Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan any further. This came as the biggest setback for ruling BJP ahead of polls.
The arrogant tone of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP National President J.P. Nadda that BJP is "inevitable" for Karnataka's development also was not received well.
Opposition party leaders reminded that Karnataka is the second state after Maharashtra in terms of generating revenues for the central government and the cost of projects built by the BJP government is nothing when compared to what it gets from the state.
Large number of people especially in south Karnataka are beneficiaries of the land reforms brought by the Congress. Karnataka was one of the states which implemented land reforms effectively in the country. Lakhs of people fulfilled their dream of owning lands. The good will is intact till date and it was evident during the Bharat Jodo Yatra of Rahul Gandhi. BJP just brushed it aside.
The previous Congress governments had built all research institutes in Bengaluru and made it a hub of research and innovation. It developed the city as an IT Hub.
Mallikarjun Kharge has brought state-of-the-art ESI hospitals to the state when he was Union Minister for Labor. He also brought Article 371 J special status to Hyderabad-Karnataka region.
Despite what the Congress did for the state in the past, people had chosen BJP. Now, they have returned to the Congress.
Instead of ranting about a handful of projects, the BJP should introspect and find out what really went wrong and stop humiliating Karnataka people. The BJP humiliated the Lingayat community and lost its vote bank. The attempts to humiliate the whole of Kannada people by the supporters of BJP would only hurt it more, say experts.
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