With the Congress in Karnataka managing to secure only nine seats in the recent Lok Sabha elections, party MLAs are pressurising the party to reconsider the ‘Five Guarantees’ promised to the people, citing hindrances to other development works and also paucity of funds. Though the five guarantees are believed to have propelled the Congress to power in the Assembly elections, they apparently did not help the party secure votes in the Lok Sabha elections. While the BJP-led NDA won 19 seats, the ruling Congress managed to win only nine seats out of the 28 Parliament seats in the State. Worried over this, Congress MLA from Bagalkote, JT Patil, urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to reassess the guarantees.

“At many places, guarantees have not worked, so we will appeal to the Chief Minister to rethink about the guarantees. Simply why? On one side there is no development, and also those beneficiaries did not vote. Then why?” Patil was quoted as saying by India Today.

Not just Patil, a few other Congress leaders were also of the similar opinion.

Congress leader Lakshaman, who was defeated in the Lok Sabha elections, was also quoted saying that the BJP kept saying that people were being made lazy by giving them the guarantees.

“It seems like people have backed that thought. People didn’t seem to like the guarantees. I, as an individual and a candidate, appeal to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to re-look into the guarantees as people have given mandate against it.”

Congress MLA Balakrishna

also made similar observations. “We go into elections with a weapon. Now, we have realised that it hasn’t worked and our opponents too have been saying that the guarantees haven’t really helped us. After elections, we need to reconsider and look at options, but it is upto our leadership,” he said.

With the Congress not managing any stellar performance in the Lok Sabha elections in Telangana either, the observations by the Congress MLAs in Karnataka could echo here as well. Considering the fact that Congress won only eight seats and BJP won eight seats, there is every possibility of these appeals resonating in Telangana, party sources say.

The Congress government in Telangana is already struggling to implement its Six Guarantees here and are imposing terms and conditions on several of the assurances made to the people so as to bring down the number of beneficiaries and the burden on the exchequer for implementation of its poll promises. For instance, Congress had promised to pay Rs.500 bonus to all rice varieties before the elections, but the State government is now saying the bonus will be only for fine rice varieties.

The Mahalakshmi scheme offering free bus travel facility to women is also facing difficulties since the government is said to have not ensured enough number of buses for the same. The Gruha Jyothi scheme, which promised free electricity up to 200 units, the Rs.500 LPG cylinder scheme and similar initiatives are also being implemented with multiple riders and conditions cutting down the number oif beneficiaries drastically.
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