Party workers engaged in celebration of congress victory.
Mangalore/Bangalore, May 09: By virtually decimating the first BJP government in Karnataka and south India and handing the Congress a sound majority of nearly 120 seats in the 224 member assembly, the people of Karnataka have clearly voted for good governance and stability – the major plank on which the Congress based its campaign.
The verdict also reflects the extent to which people became tired of the corruption and misgovernance that prevailed during the five year tenure of the BJP government and could well serve as a warning to the UPA government in New Delhi ahead of the parliamentary polls in 2014.
While the Congress is expected to trumpet the Karnataka victory all the way to parliamentary polls as a sign of its continuing popularity in the country, its immediate task in Karnataka will be to put in place a set up for good governance — starting with a chief minister who can quickly take control of administration and bring hundreds of flagging national and state programs back on track.
Over the past five years while the BJP often struck populist notes with its programs, especially social welfare ones like providing free bicycles and investing in girl children, Karnataka has lagged behind in implementation of programs like village road construction, women and child development, creation of employment and attracting new investments.
One of the key areas to be addressed is the problem of job creation that has come to a virtual standstill with the services sector being the sole driver of the economy in the past five years and the industrial, manufacturing economy falling off the growth map along with agriculture.
The Congress however is likely to see the problem of winning the parliament polls of 2014 as the priority and its decision on the next chief minister could be dictated by this factor as much as good administration. Unlike the BJP, the Congress is however more blessed in terms of having capable administrators in its ranks and should be able to address both its 2014 problem and the development of Karnataka with one candidate.