If one looks at the political history of Karnataka, it has been synonymous with how Congress party has travelled its after independence political history. Congress was the party people associated with and were proud to serve in even though crores of its followers did not enjoy the benefits of political power, because they felt the movement was more important than the momentarliy political power which was in the clutches of few power brokers.
Today, like how Congress cant form government on its own at the centre, in karnataka it cant dream of comming to power for the next 15yrs or so. This is not a mere statement, but based on my observations and travelling in urban and rural Karnataka on my every holiday. There are few glaring examples which can easily tell the story. Bellary a congress bastion today a fortress of BJP, oops the Reddy brothers of the mining fame, Mangalore - whose people are known for their business and political acumen has not seen a Congress MP for 15 odd yrs, Bangalore South, which is the most educated constituency in Karnataka has not seen a Congress MP since mid 1990s. Are these the only examples, i would say No, the upcomming loksabha elections would be a reality check to congress party in karnataka because - it is at its weakest position for the last 60yrs.
Comming to my observations on whay Congress has lost its pre-eminence position in karnataka polity:
1. Lack of genuine mass leaders - today congress party in karnataka is in the clutches of power brokers, sychopants and inefficcient leaders whose only claim to pecking order is their proximity to 10 Janapath.
Leaders like Moily, Poojary, Deshpande, Kharge, Dharm Singh, Ugrappa, Munniyappa - none are mass leaders, it would be difficult for them to wiwn elections on their own without the Congress symbol, may be barring kharge because of the caste factor.
2. Power brokers running the show in Congress - Ministers like Munniyappa are hardly known for their work in their own constituencies and whay more can one expects from such MPs as ministers. Someone like Moily for all the hardwork he puts in, he is ineffective, because he spends more time on scuppering others chances to fame just to remain in limelight.
3. Neither populist nor efficient - those leaders like Moily, Kharge, Dharm Singh, Deshpande, Krishna who have occupied every possible political power in the state, have shown lack of skills in understanding the needs and requirements of the people. Krishna during his tenure claimed to fame the software industry success was due to his policies, but he has forgotten that it was Verendra patil, Bangarappa regimes which laid the baisc foundation.
4. Egoistic leadership - politicians like Siddramaiah, Krishna, DK Shivakumar, though have an appeal and to an extent mass base, want everything the party can give in one go, but how much have they delivered to the party success?? highly questionable. The antics of Siddaramaiah during the recently concluded by elections was a slap on the face for congress leadership. Unlike Bangarappa none of these leaders have the audacity or the conviction to be daring and go to the people for their every actions. Each time Bangarappa (no doubt was egoistic, this is because of self pride in his capabilities and his pride against those sychophats in Congress like Moily, Poojary and others) went outside Congress he harmed it more than Congress could recover. Did anyone even ponder why Bangarappa did this to congress thrice?? The answer is No, because inefficient state leaders in Congress were just happy to get rid of populist and mass leader and his exit eventually made competition comparitively less to grab the attention of central leadership.
5. No place for dedicated and honest politicians in Congress peking order - HK Patil, MP Prakash are few to mention, but the most glaring omission was when Congress could not hold on to gems like A T ramaswamy, who later joined JD(S) and did a very laudable job of helping bangaloreans against the land mafia as chairman of bangalore land encorachment enquiry committee.
6. Congress becoming irrelevant in Karnataka in many constituencies - sandwiched between the Vokaliga strong JD(S) and Lingayat, Brahmin dominant BJP.
Today, no community would support Congress barring the OBCs to an extent, hence Congress is trying hard to placate Siddaramiah (Kuruba factor), but the question is, how many constituencies can Kuruba factor work and it would be foolish to think, Kurubas would vote for congress in every constituency because of Siddaramiah.
Whereas JD(S) is strong in districts like Hassan, Mysore, Mandya, Tumkur - predominantly the south karnataka belt or popularly known as the Mysore belt. and BJP is strong is Bangalore, Mangalore, Chikamangalur, Bellary, Bidar, Belgaum, Davengere, Karwar, Bagalkot, Dharwad, Hubli, Kodagu, Haveri, Gadag.
That leaves the rest of karnataka where congres and the others will fight for victory. Today there is no consitituency in karnataka which can be said as a congress bastion based on current political scenario.
If its not enough Congress has been have a lot of infighting off late between different groups of leadership of whom many dont have a mass following. If one looks at the Siddaramiah fiasco, and the delay in taking Bangarappa to Congress fold just to placate the large egos of spineless leaders in congress who cant deliver anything to party success likes Moily, Poojary, Deshpande, Munniyappa and others. The answer is written very clearly if the Congres does not get its act together, it has the face the political wilderness in comming days.
I am afraid if the Congress leadership doesnot see this, it would be the last of Congress we would hear for atleast the next decade or so in karnataka. Is it an opportunity or new and young leadership to mushroom, might be - but having observed Congress very closely in its highs and lows - i doubt it will learn the lesson. They lost UP, Bihar, Gujrat earlier and now we can potrentially add Karnataka to the list.