It’s time you support us, says Gowda | india | Hindustan Times
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It’s time you support us, says Gowda

Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) chief H.D. Deve Gowda has written a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, seeking support for his party candidate in the coming biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka.

india Updated: May 28, 2010 00:14 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi

Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) chief H.D. Deve Gowda has written a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, seeking support for his party candidate in the coming biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka.

Gowda reminded Gandhi of his party’s support to Congress candidates B.K. Hariprasad in 2004 and Anil H. Lad in the 2008 elections to the upper house from the state.

It is for the Congress to reciprocate and support the JD(S) candidate this time, Gowda is understood to have stated in the
letter to Gandhi.

Sources close to Gowda said that the JD(S) is likely to field party general secretary Kunwar Danish Ali as its nominee for the upper house. The party currently has two members in the Rajya Sabha.

The term of four Rajya Sabha members — Oscar Fernandes and Hariprasad (both Congress), M. Venkaiah Naidu (BJP) and M.A.M. Ramaswamy of JD(S) — is coming to an end on June 30 while the elections would be held on June 17.

With a strength of 116 in the 225-member assembly, the BJP can win two seats on its own and would still have a surplus of 32 votes. The Congress with 74 legislators is sure to get one elected and will then have 29 surplus votes.

A candidate has to secure at least 45 votes as per the assembly strength to get elected to the Rajya Sabha from the state.

The JD(S) with 27 legislators is unlikely to get any seat on its own this time, but its support is crucial for the fourth seat.

Gowda has sought support from the Congress on the ground that it was imperative for “secular-minded” parties to ensure that “communal and fascist forces” are kept at bay and denied representation in the Rajya Sabha. He also seems to have written to Gandhi that it would not only send a “positive message” to minorities, but also be in the state’s “best interest”.

It remains to be seen if the Congress was willing to reciprocate the support. In case the party agrees, Hariprasad is likely to “sacrifice” his seat for Fernandes and this would be second time he will do that.

Meanwhile, the Congress has invited Praja Rajyam Party chief Chiranjeevi for talks in Delhi, raising hopes of an alliance with that party for the Rajya Sabha polls in Andhra Pradesh.