THE president of the Congress in Karnataka G Parameshwar on Friday claimed that the party would win 20 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats that went to the polls on Thursday.
He however added that the election results would not be a referendum on the leadership of the state Congress or Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who spearheaded the campaign.
“As per information gathered from our local units since Thursday night, the Congress will win 20 seats or more in Karnataka. This is on the basis of our internal calculations,’’ the state Congress president claimed here during a media interaction.
Parameshwar suggested the nearly six per cent increase in voting in the state from the 59 per cent registered in 2009, when the BJP won 19 of the 28 seats, was an indicator of increased support for Congress.
“Our projection of the party winning 20 seats in Karnataka is on the basis of ground realities from our travels around the state, the views expressed by local leaders and the fact that we worked systematically in these elections,” said the Congress leader, who is hoping to be inducted into the state cabinet if the party performs well in the state.
Parameshwar, who during campaigning had stated that the onus of delivering results for the Congress was with him and Siddaramaiah, added a caveat to his claims of the Congress winning 20 seats by stating that the polls were not a referendum on the performance of the Congress government under Siddaramaiah or his own leadership of the party.
“We are responsible for delivering the elections for the Congress but the poll results will not be a referendum on anybody’s leadership. We are both equally responsible but the question of a change in the leadership does not arise,” he said.
The state Congress president said reports of the AICC setting a target of a minimum of 15 seats from Karnataka were incorrect and that no such targets had been set for the state unit by the national leadership of the party.
He said the BJP would not make significant gains on account of leaders like former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and former minister B Sreeramulu returning to the BJP fold following their estrangement during the 2013 Assembly polls which resulted in the BJP suffering a humiliating loss in the Assembly elections.