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Shocked by BJP win in Sira: Karnataka Cong chief DK Shivakumar after bye-poll defeat

Shivakumar said that the party, which was also defeated in RR Nagar, had expected a loss but not by such a huge margin.

The Congress defeat in the Raja Rajeshwari Nagar and the Sira bye-elections has come as a major setback for the party. State President DK Shivakumar held a press conference on Tuesday after the party’s defeat and said that he was “shocked” by the results in Sira.

Shivakumar said that he had expected a defeat in RR Nagar, but had not expected it to be by such a huge margin. The BJP’s Munirathna Naidu swept the polls with 1,25,734 votes while Congress’s Kusuma H bagged 67,798. “In RR Nagar, I had expected a close fight with a difference of 15,000 votes. Keeping our calculations in mind, we had fielded Kusuma. She’s a good candidate,” the leader said.

In Sira, Shivakumar said that the party’s leaders were stumped by the results, especially since the BJP opened its account in the segment for the first time. “We’d strongly believed we would win in Sira. We’re shocked that the BJP won. We’ll sit down and see what went wrong to ensure that our party can regain the confidence of the voters there. Several media persons have asked me: This is the first election you have lost. I will tell you, I lost my first election in 1985 and I have subsequently won. Failure is the foundation of success,” he said.

Watch: DK Shivakumar addresses media after Congress’ defeat in Sira and RR Nagar bye-elections

Shivakumar said that he would not want to place the blame on anyone and accept defeat graciously. The Congress’s troubleshooter and election strategist said that the leaders would sit down and identify the mistakes made during the campaign and work to strengthen the party.

“I’ll not blame others for the defeat and as the party president, I own the responsibility of the defeat. The Congress party is thinking about fielding fresh faces. We’re looking to field educated candidates. In the coming days too, we will field fresh faces in upcoming elections. I still believe we chose the best candidate for the RR Nagar elections,” he added.

DK Shivakumar said that the party would continue to showcase the inconsistencies in the ruling BJP’s administration and work to prepare for the Assembly elections in 2023. He also said that despite the huge margin of victory for Munirathna, the Congress’s candidate, being a novice to politics, had managed to form a good connection with voters.

“In the coming days, keeping our ideology in mind, we’ll continue to showcase to the voters the discrepancies in the administration of the current government. I can say that our candidate managed to form a good connection with the voters. The ruling government misused its power by distributing money, among other things. But that is secondary. We lost, the people did not give us as many votes as we had expected,” he said, while urging party workers not to be discouraged by the defeat.

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