Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah attributed the Congress’s success in the neighbouring Telangana to the effective implementation of the guarantee schemes in the state, besides the concerted efforts by the party leaders.
"A year ago, no one expected the Congress to wrest power in Telangana. It is a fact that the Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi energised the cadres in Telangana. The party's victory in Karnataka, a systematic campaign and the effective implementation of the guarantee schemes in our state certainly helped our party win the confidence of the voters in Telangana," said Siddaramaiah, who also alleged that the BJP and the BRS entering a secret pact in the polls had led to voters rejecting both the parties.
Last week, Siddaramaiah, who too had campaigned in Telangana like a dozen Karnataka ministers including deputy chief minister D.K. Shivakumar, had refuted the claims made by Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekara Rao and the BJP leaders that the Congress government in Karnataka had failed to implement the guarantee schemes. Siddaramaiah had even invited Rao to visit Karnataka for a reality check.
"Our four guarantees - Shakti (free bus travel for women), Anna Bhagya (10 kilo free rice to BPL families), Gruha Jyoti (free power to households) and Gruha Lakshmi (monthly stipend of Rs 2,000 to woman head of households) have been implemented and the fifth scheme Yuvanidhi (unemployment benefit) will be implemented in January 2024. Our party has always kept its word. The party will implement all six guarantees in Telangana if voted to power," Siddaramaiah had asserted.
Interestingly, the Telangana Congress announced six guarantees in September ahead of the Assembly polls in the hope of replicating the thumping victory of the party in Karnataka (the party won 135 out of 224 seats).
The six guarantees - Mahalakshmi (monthly stipend of Rs 2,500 to women), Rythu Bharosa (annual income support of Rs 15,000 to farmers, Rs 12,000 to agriculture labourers and Rs 500 bonus to paddy growers), Gruha Jyothi (200 units of free electricity to every household every month), Indiramma Indlu (housing subsidy of Rs 5 lakh to the poor), Yuva Vikasam (education guarantee card worth Rs 5 lakh) and Cheyutha (health insurance cover up to Rs 10 lakh and Rs 4,000 pension to the poor) seem to have struck a chord with the voters.
Incidentally, the Election Commission had recently taken a serious view of the Karnataka government placing the advertisements on its guarantee schemes in newspapers distributed in the poll-bound Telangana and issued a notice to the Siddaramaiah government stating it was a gross violation of the election code of conduct.
Karnataka deputy chief minister and state PCC president D.K. Shivakumar on Sunday claimed that the Telangana poll outcome only proved the continued dominance of the Congress party in the South.
Speaking to reporters in Hyderabad, Shivakumar said, “Voters of Telangana and our party workers had made up their mind to bring a change in the state and the results reflect that. I would like to thank the people of Telangana and all our party workers for the victory.”
Shivakumar added that the party leaders and workers from Karnataka, Maharashtra and other neighbouring states had worked tirelessly in Telangana.
Asked if Telangana was a personal victory for him as the Congress' troubleshooter had been camping in the state and also extensively campaigned in the state, Shivakumar said, “This is a victory of the people of Telangana. They have expressed their gratitude to Smt. Sonia Gandhi for giving them a separate state by voting for the Congress. The people were fed up in the last ten years and have now voted for progress and development. I am grateful to the people of Telangana for believing in us. We will work hard to live up to their expectations."