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Rajya Sabha Elections 2018: Siddaramaiah Refuses to Let JD(S) Win One Seat, Forces Voting

The ruling Congress has fielded three candidates from Karnataka, while the BJP and JD(S) have fielded one each. Each nominee requires a minimum of 45 votes to sail through.

D P Satish | News18dp_satish

Updated:March 23, 2018, 7:44 AM IST
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Rajya Sabha Elections 2018: Siddaramaiah Refuses to Let JD(S) Win One Seat, Forces Voting
File photo of Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah.
Bengaluru: Rajya Sabha election to four seats from Karnataka has ended the debate on whether the Congress and JD(S) would join hands after the Assembly polls in case of a hung verdict.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has rejected JD(S) request for the fourth seat, forcing an election to the Upper House of Parliament on Friday. The Congress has fielded three candidates, while the BJP and JD(S) have fielded one each. The current strength of the 224-member Assembly is 217. There are seven vacancies.

The ruling Congress has 123 MLAs in the House and can easily win two seats. The main opposition BJP can win one seat. For the fourth seat, the Congress and JD(S) have locked the horns.

Each nominee requires a minimum of 45 votes to sail through.

The JD(S) has once again fielded a business tycoon from Mangalore, BM Farooq, as its candidate. He had lost the 2016 Rajya Sabha election to the Congress’ third candidate KC Ramamurthy. He has declared an income of over Rs 800 crore.

Saying a firm no to JD(S) state chief HD Kumaraswamy’s request for one seat, Siddaramaiah has fielded a Vokkaliga Congressman, GC Chandrashekhar. Playing the Kannada card, Siddaramaiah had rejected party high command nominees Sam Pitroda and Janardhana Dwivedi’s candidature from Karnataka. The Congress has fielded three Kannadigas with no big backing in this election.

AICC spokesman Syed Nasser Hussain, Dalit poet L Hanumanthaiah and KPCC general secretary GC Chandrashekhar are in the fray from the Congress.

Despite opposition from many quarters, the BJP has decided to go ahead with its nominee, another businessman, Rajeev Chandrashekhar. He has already won Rajya Sabha election from Karnataka as an Independent twice. The BJP has 42 votes and is hoping to get five extra votes to ensure his victory.

The JD(S) is left with just 30 votes after its seven MLAs went with the Congress and two others switched sides to the BJP. One JD(S) MLA died recently.

After electing two candidates, the Congress will be left with 31 extra votes. It is hoping to get seven JD(S) MLAs to ensure the victory of its candidate.

The JD(S) has already issued a whip to all its MLAs, including those who have defected to the Congress and the BJP.

The Speaker of the Assembly, KB Koliwad, has not taken any decision on their fate despite the intervention of the Karnataka High Court.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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