In a surprise move, JD(S) decides to field candidate for Rajya Sabha

H.D. Kumaraswamy. File photo

H.D. Kumaraswamy. File photo

In what is likely to add a twist to the polls to elect four members to Rajya Sabha from the State, the Janata Dal (Secular), despite not having the requisite number of votes, has decided to field its candidate.

The BJP and Congress with their strength in the Legislative Assembly are set to comfortably win two and one seats respectively in the polls scheduled to be held on June 10. While none of the three political parties having got the requisite number of votes for the fourth seat, the JD(S) move has raised curiosity.

Terms ending

The elections are being held as the term of three members and a vacant seat is coming to an end on June 30. They include the terms of BJP members, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and K.C. Ramamurthy, and senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. One seat has been vacant since the death of Oscar Fernandes in September 2021.

On Tuesday, former Chief Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy announced in Mysuru that the party had decided to field a candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls. “There is no question of the party extending support to a candidate fielded by other parties,” he said. He explained that the surplus votes of the national parties after ensuring victory of two BJP candidates and one Congress candidate will not be enough for them to field another candidate. “So, our candidate will be in the fray,” Mr. Kumaraswamy said.

The JD(S) Legislative Party meeting will be held in a couple of days to decide on the candidates for Rajya Sabha and also Legislative Council elections.

As per a formula devised to elect the Rajya Sabha members from the Legislative Assembly, each candidate has to poll 45 votes to win. With the BJP having 122 votes (including the speaker and an Independent), it can ensure victory of its two candidates while the Congress with 70 votes (including an Independent), the party can win one seat. The JD(S) has 32 votes. All the 224 elected MLAs are eligible to vote in the election.

Secretariat sources said that though the second and third preference votes are available to the legislators, since it is an open ballot, the choice will be known. “It will be interesting to know who would support the JD(S) candidate,” said a source.

JD(S) sources said that the party is likely to field its former Rajya Sabha MP Kupendra Reddy, and leave the responsibility of getting additional votes from other parties on him. “Officially, JD(S) will not be seeking the support of BJP.” While the Congress is yet to meet formally to discuss its candidate, party sources said that it is likely to contest one seat only. The BJP sources said that the Core Committee has recommended five names, including its sitting members Nirmala Sitharaman and K.C. Ramamurthy, and will contest two seats.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 5:27:44 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/in-a-surprise-move-jds-decides-to-field-candidate-for-rajya-sabha/article65423970.ece