The Congress will not withdraw its second nominee from the June 17 election to four Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka though the party can win only one seat, a senior leader said today.
"There is no question of withdrawal," Congress general secretary Oscar Fernandes, one of the candidates, said referring to T V Maruthi, a businessman.
With 74 members in the 225-member assembly, the Congress is assured of winning one seat. A candidate requires 45 first preference votes. Assembly members make the Electoral College for the Rajya Sahba elections.
If the Congress sticks to its stand, polling will be necessary as there will be five candidates for four seats, two from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), two from Congress and one independent, Vijay Mallya, backed by the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S).
The BJP, with 116 of its members and the support of five of the six independents, can win two seats. The party's former president, M Venkaiah Naidu, and state leader Ayanur Manjunath have filed papers.
The JD-S with 27 members has backed liquor baron Mallya. It is hoping one independent assembly member will back Mallya.
Mallya hopes to win with the surplus votes of the BJP. After ensuring the victory of its two candidates, the BJP will have 26 surplus votes.
Mallya, who entered the Rajya Sabha in 2002 also as an independent candidate, is confident of victory. "I have friends in all parties," he said.
The nominations of two other independents were rejected today as they did not have any assembly member proposing their names.