Legislative assembly

RS polls: fourth seat suspense continues

None of the three parties has the required number of votes to win the fourth seat

None of the three parties has the required number of votes to win the fourth seat

The suspense over the transfer of political parties to the fourth seat for the state’s Rajya Sabha election continues to run high even as the BJP on Sunday announced Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and actor Jaggesh as its candidates .

While none of the three parties has the number of votes required to win the fourth seat, the Janata Dal (secular) has announced that it will present its candidate while the BJP and the Congress are still weighing the options . The deadline for submitting applications is Tuesday.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Sunday that the party’s central leadership would agree to field the third candidate since the party had enough strength to win just two seats. “Neither side can win by itself. We are also monitoring what other parties are doing regarding the fourth seat. We informed the high command of the evolution of the situation. BJP sources said a Bengaluru-based businessman would be the party’s third candidate.

The election comes as Ms Sitharaman, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh and BJP member KC Ramamurty retire and another seat is vacant due to the death of Congress leader Oscar Fernandes. The election is scheduled for June 10.

JD(S) sources said its former Rajya Sabha member Kupendra Reddy could be the party’s candidate or he could be asked to stand as an independent candidate backed by JD(S). With 32 deputies in the Legislative Assembly, the party lacks 13 votes to ensure the victory of its candidate. “Mr. Reddy has a good relationship with the central leadership of Congress and it will be his responsibility to secure support, the sources said. On Sunday, Mr. Reddy met with KPCC chairman DK Shivakumar to discuss the issue. , sources said.

Congress, according to party sources, also planned to field a second candidate to force an election, but it is still undecided. “A Muslim candidate is under discussion as the party’s second candidate to counter the JD(S) decision. If the BJP presents its third candidate, the competition becomes intense.

The Congress, with 70 members, including an independent, has 25 more votes after ensuring the victory of its candidate. Each candidate must obtain 45 votes according to a formula designed to elect members of the Rajya Sabha of the Legislative Assembly.

It is learned that several former congress guards are trying to pressure their leadership to present a loyal party worker as the second candidate in an effort to prevent any possibility of bargaining through any businessman posing as his second candidate or be pushed into a piquant situation of supporting the JD(S) candidate to prove his secular credentials.

Mr Ramesh, amid party murmurings against nominating a non-Kannadiga for the election, is expected to put down his candidacy for whatever seat Congress is capable of winning.

Meanwhile, if an election becomes necessary, political parties fear there is a threat of a cross-vote although voting will be by open ballot since all parties face some sort of dissent within their ranks. . This is particularly the case in an election year, when parties might expect many of their members to move to other parties for local political reasons.

“With neither party in a position to secure victory for their candidate for the fourth seat, there is a fear of cross-voting and even bargaining if there is an election,” said Bandeppa, deputy leader of the JD(S) Legislature Party. Kashpur. “There have been enough instances in the recent past in the Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council elections where an official candidate lost due to such a cross-vote,” he said, pointing to the vote. crossed JD(S) lawmakers in the 2016 vote. Rajya Sabha polls, resulting in the defeat of the party’s official candidate, BM Farooq.

A congressional leader also agreed there could be cross-voting and horse-trading, as no one has the required strength.