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Citing Poor Performance in Karnataka Polls, Cong’s SR Patil Quits

Karnataka North Working President SR Patil tendered his resignation to party chief Rahul Gandhi citing moral grounds

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Politics
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The Congress party’s below par performance in the Karnataka elections appears to have found its first casualty with the party’s Karnataka North Working President SR Patil resigning from his position.

Patil tendered his resignation to party President Rahul Gandhi citing moral responsibility of the party’s performance in the 2018 Assembly elections.

Patil had been a minister in the Siddaramaiah-led government from 2013 to 2018. He served as Minister for Infrastructure, Information Technology,  Biotechnology, Science and Technology, Planning and Statistics in the state government.

“I have sent my resignation to Rahul Gandhi through an email some days back after taking moral responsibility for the party’s unsatisfactory performance in Assembly elections. Had my party won more seats from North Karnataka, we would have formed the government on our own,” Patil reportedly told reporters in Bengaluru on Sunday.

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An influential Lingayat leader, Patil was tasked with overseeing the party's campaign in North Karnataka.

The Siddaramaiah-led state government had also decided to confer special minority and religion status to the Lingayat community, which forms a sizable part of the population in North Karnataka districts.

While the Congress may have come to power in the state in a coalition government along with the JD(S), it suffered a reversal of fortunes in North Karnataka.

The Congress won just eight seats in Belagavi, two in Bagalkot, three in Vijayapura, one in Gadag and two in Dharwad, districts – 16 seats in all.

In comparison, the Congress had won six seats in Belagavi, six seats in Bagalkot, seven in Vijayapura, four in Gadagand four in Dharwad districts – a total of 27 seats in the same five districts.

In the 2013 polls, the Congress’ cause was aided by the fact that the Karnataka Janata Paksha-led by BS Yeddyurappa and BSR Congress contested the elections in 2013, splitting the BJP’s votes. In the years since, the two outfits merged with the BJP.

(This story was first published on The News Minute and has been republished in an arrangement.)

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