The announcement, made months ahead of the elections, underscores the scenario in Karnataka, where some leaders are planning to change parties

The Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka has announced that party secretary-general Kunwar Danish Ali will be its candidate for the Rajya Sabha elections in June 2014.

The speed with which the announcement was made — nine months ahead of the elections to four seats — underscores the political scenario in the State, where some leaders are planning to change parties. It is believed that a section of the JD(S) leaders is planning to join to other parties ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

In the Rajya Sabha elections held in 2004, 2008, 2010 and 2012, the JD(S) backed candidates from the corporate sector rather than those from within the party.

The JD(S) president and former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, told The Hindu that he decided to field Mr. Ali after holding consultations with party’s State president A. Krishnappa and other senior leaders. Mr. Gowda said certain compulsions made him announce the choice of candidate way ahead of the elections.

Incidentally, the former State president, H.D. Kumaraswamy, said he was not a party to the decision. Elections were another nine months away, he pointed out, arguing that many developments could happen in the meantime.

In 2004, the JD(S), which was part of the Congress-led government and which had 65 votes, preferred businessman M.A.M. Ramaswamy. In 2006, the party fielded M. Rajashekara Murthy. In 2008, having 28 votes, the party backed Anil Lad. In 2010, it supported liquor baron Vijay Mallya. In 2012, the party gave all its votes to Rajeev Chandrashekar.

Mr. Ali’s name was bandied about in the last four elections.

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