Tough fight for 4th Karnataka RS seat

Wednesday 08th June 2022 07:47 EDT

Bengaluru: Six candidates are in the fray for the June 10 Rajya Sabha poll to four seats from Karnataka, necessitating a heated contest for the fourth seat. Despite not having an adequate number of votes to win the fourth seat from the state Assembly, all the three political parties in the state - BJP, Congress and JD(S) - have fielded candidates for the seat, forcing an election.

The six candidates in the fray for Rajya Sabha polls from the state are - Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, actor-politician Jaggesh and outgoing MLC Lehar Singh Siroya from the BJP, former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh and state general secretary Mansoor Ali Khan from the Congress, and former MP D Kupendra Reddy from the JD(S).

Among the candidates, Sitharaman and Jairam Ramesh are seeking re-election from the state. Despite JD(S) seeking support to ensure Reddy's election to the Upper House of the parliament, the Congress did not withdrawn its second candidate Khan from the fray on Friday, the last day for withdrawal of nomination, and has issued a whip to all its MLAs asking them to vote for the party's candidates.

The JD(S) had sought Congress' support by invoking secularism and to keep communal forces away. JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda is even said to have discussed with Congress President Sonia Gandhi in this regard.

The Congress had in turn asked the JD(S) to support its candidate Khan, and return the favour, reminding the regional party that it had supported its patriarch and former PM Deve Gowda's election to Rajya Sabha last time.

The election to four Rajya Sabha seats is necessitated as the term of office of members Nirmala Sitharaman and KC Ramamurthy of BJP, and Jairam Ramesh - is due to expire on June 30. The fourth member Oscar Fernandes of the Congress passed away last year.

A candidate needs the support of 45 MLAs to win, and based on their strength in the Legislative Assembly, the BJP can win two seats and the Congress one.

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