A strain in ties between JD(S) allies and Congress is likely to bolster Karnataka’s ruling BJP’s chances for the Rajya Sabha elections on Friday. Four state seats will be up for grabs, with six candidates vying for it. Each candidate will need the support of at least 45 MPs to be elected to the Upper House.
The BJP has a majority in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly with 121 seats. While the Congress has 70 seats, the JD(S) has 32. Given their respective strengths in the state assembly, the BJP is likely to win two seats and the Congress one, while the remaining seat will see a close contest with both parties. an additional appointment.
The BJP and Congress reappointed Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and former Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh respectively. Besides Sitharaman, the BJP nominated actor Jaggesh, Karnataka Legislative Council member Lahar Singh Siroya as its candidate.
Congress also nominated Mansoor Ali Khan, much to the surprise of their JD(S) allies. A few days ago, JD(S) leader and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy denounced Congress leader Siddaramaiah for appointing Khan. JD(S) had also sent one of its TA Sharavana leaders to Siddaramaiah with the aim of persuading him to withdraw Khan’s appointment. Apparently, JD(S) wanted to have a say in choosing a candidate for the fourth seat. The JD(S) even claimed that if Congress does not withdraw Khan’s nomination, it will hand the crucial seat to the BJP on a platter. Meanwhile, JD(S) has decided to choose media baron D Kupendra Reddy as their candidate.
Since JD(S) has only 32 votes, he would need the support of the BJP or Congress to get his choice elected to the Upper House. The three parties, although in deficit, nominated their own candidate for the fourth seat, thereby forcing an election. While the BJP will end up with 32 votes, the Congress will be left with only 25 votes. This is where JD(S) wanted a consensus on the fourth seat with Congress, so they could have easily gotten their nominee elected.
“We had not fielded a candidate when Deve Gowda competed for RS last time (2020). We also made Kumaraswamy the Chief Minister. Now support us if you really want to defeat the BJP,” Siddaramaiah told PTI news agency.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai meanwhile expressed confidence, saying the BJP will win three out of four seats. Elections for the state’s four Upper House seats have been necessitated as the terms of Nirmala Sitharaman of the BJP, KC Ramamurthy and Jairam Ramesh of the Congress, Oscar Fernandes end on August 1.