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Rajya Sabha election: JD(S) warns ally Congress of consequences in Karnataka state polls

The JD(S), which partnered with the Congress in civic elections, needs the national party’s support to win a Rajya Sabha seat.

india Updated: Mar 06, 2018 20:40 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Rajya Sabha election,Congress,JD(S)
The session of the Rajya Sabha in process during the ongoing budget session in Parliament, in New Delhi on March 5, 2018. (PTI Photo )

The Janata Dal (Secular) warned the Congress of consequences in the Karnataka assembly election after the national party ruled out an alliance in the upcoming Rajya Sabha election.

The Congress has decided to contest three of the four Rajya Sabha seats in the state, leaving no seat for the Janata Dal (Secular) in the March 23 election.

Each candidate requires 44 votes in the 224-member assembly.

The Congress currently has 122 MLAs, the BJP 46 and the JD(S) 37. This means the Congress will be able to ensure the victory of two candidates and the BJP one, but the JD(S), which has also decided to contest the polls, will need support of the Congress to send its member to Rajya Sabha from the state.

The stumbling block for the party is the fact that seven of its MLAs are set to join the Congress and have expressed their intention to vote for the Congress’s third candidate. Chief minister Siddaramaiah on Monday categorically ruled out any alliance with the JD(S). He is set to meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Tuesday to finalise the party’s candidates.

Speaking to HT, former chief minister and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy said Siddaramaiah’s attitude was unfortunate. “When they were short of a majority in the Bengaluru corporation they came to us begging for an alliance,” he said. “Besides, we have not asked them for an alliance, we just want them to field only two candidates and let the seven JD(S) dissident MLAs vote for our candidate.”

Kumaraswamy said if the Congress continued to behave in this manner, the JD(S) would have no option but to teach it a lesson after the assembly polls. “Most opinion polls are predicting a hung assembly and if the Congress continues to allow Siddaramaiah to behave in this manner, it will damage any possibility of a post poll alliance,” he said.

For the BJP, too, there is a dilemma in the elections. It is as yet undecided on its candidate, with retiring member Rajeev Chandrashekhar, who is the vice-chairman of the National Democratic Alliance in Kerala, being one of the aspirants. Chandrashekhar, a two-time Rajya Sabha MP from the state, had previously relied on the JD(S) for support. But, since his move to the NDA that relationship has come to an end.

A senior BJP leader said the party was as yet undecided about its nominee. “Right now the party has two candidates in mind, Chandrashekhar and Vijay Sankeshwar (owner of the influential Vijaya Vani newspaper).”

First Published: Mar 06, 2018 16:59 IST