Mangaluru, May 16: Disheartened over his two consecutive defeats from Bantwal constituency in Karnataka Assembly polls, Congress leader and former minister B Ramanath Rai has announced his retirement from electoral politics.
Speaking to media persons in the city today, Mr Rai, however, clarified that he would continue to remain active in party activities.
“I am a 71-year-old and there was some disagreement in the party over my candidature. The party has given me all the opportunities all these years,” he said. “However, I will abide by the decision of the high command,” he added.
“I was confident of winning the election as the situation was favourable for the Congress. There was a setback somewhere and I will introspect on the reason for the defeat. Compared to the previous election, the victory margin of the BJP has come down to 8,282 votes from 15,971 votes, he said.
To a query on whether he would contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election, Rai said “As I have decided, I will not contest the elections. The party is supreme for me and I will do whatever the high command wants me to do,” he added.
Lauding the party’s performance in the state, Rai said “BJP did not win a majority in the state all these years. They formed a coalition government with the JD(S) and later with the independent candidates and through ‘Operation Lotus’. The voters did not support the BJP. The BJP will never come to power again. The Congress will win even in the Lok Sabha elections,” he said and urged the party workers to get ready for the zilla panchayat, taluk panchayat and Lok Sabha elections.
“We accept the defeat in the district but will work hard to gain back the seats as our party is in power in the state,” he said. “The Congress ‘Guarantees’ will be implemented soon after the oath-taking ceremony,” he said.