Congress enters fray for fourth RS seat while JD (S) candidate is set to file nomination today; BJP move being watched

The battle among political parties to take the fourth seat in elections to Rajya Sabha from Karnataka is curiously poised with the Congress candidate filing nomination on Monday and the Janata Dal (Secular) candidate expected to file his nomination on Tuesday even as the BJP is learnt to be still weighing options.

With Tuesday being the last date for filing nomination, all eyes are now on the BJP to know if it would field its candidate to make it a triangular fight in an election where none of the three parties have enough numbers to secure victory of their candidates – raising fears of cross-voting and horse-trading. The BJP leaders are tight-lipped about the party’s strategy for the fourth seat. While 45 votes are required for winning, the JD(S) and the BJP have 32 each and the Congress has 25 votes. In the other three seats, the BJP is set to win two and the Congress will win one.

On Monday, Congress candidates – former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh, and Mansoor Ali Khan – filed their nomination while BJP candidates Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and actor Jaggesh are filing their nomination papers on Tuesday. The election to four seats is slated to be held on June 10.

JD(S) MLC N. Thippeswamy told The Hindu that party candidate Kupendra Reddy will file his nomination on Tuesday after the Legislature Party meeting. “The party leaders are talking to leaders of other two parties to enable an unanimous election and prevent unsavoury incidents of horse-trading and cross-voting. We have tasked our candidate to muster the required votes from other parties.” Defending the party’s decision to field the candidate, he said that it was fair that all parties get their share of seats in Rajya Sabha.

Without commenting on seeking help to ensure the victory of its second candidate, KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar said that the party did not field a candidate last time, hinting at the Congress’ help in enabling JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda to sail through unanimously. “Even we have our own calculations and everyone has shortage of votes for the fourth candidate. I will not comment on the issue of seeking support,” he told reporters here.

Congress sources said the party fielded Mr. Khan as the second candidate deliberately to expose any possibility of understanding between the BJP and JD(S), and prevent a possible support of the party’s legislators to the JD(S) candidate. On Sunday, Mr. Kupendra Reddy had met Mr. Shivakumar and the Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council B.K. Hariprasad soliciting their support to the candidature, triggering speculation of the Congress fielding the second candidate. “If the BJP does not field its candidate and extends support to JD(S), then it exposes the arrangement between parties. If there is a BJP candidate or a BJP-supported Independent, then there are chances of cross-voting from JD(S), which will benefit Congress candidate,” sources explained.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 29, 2022 8:41:52 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/congress-enters-fray-for-fourth-rs-seat-while-jd-s-candidate-is-set-to-file-nomination-today-bjp-move-being-watched/article65476717.ece