JD(S) packs MLAs to hotel ahead of Rajya Sabha polls

HD Kumaraswamy | File photo: PTI

MLAs of the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) have been moved to a hotel in Bengaluru to avert poaching ahead of the polls for Rajya Sabha candidates.

Twenty MLAs have been shifted to a hotel already while 12 others will be brought later.

For the four Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka, there are six candidates in the fray. These 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).

The BJP has fielded three candidates, Congress two, and the JD(S) one, although its chances of getting a seat are remote, due to lack of enough MLAs to vote for its candidate.

For a candidate to win a seat, he or she needs the support of 45 MLAs. BJP has 120 MLAs, Congress 70, and JD(S) 32.

Also read: Chidambaram, Sibal, Misa Bharti among 41 elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha

As such, BJP would comfortably win 2 seats, while Congress would get one seat. The fight is on for the fourth seat.

Although JD(S) and Congress have vowed to defeat the BJP, they are yet to reach an agreement.

“If Congress really wants to defeat the BJP, we have already made an offer of transferring second preferential votes to each other. What else can I do? I have made an open offer, I’m ready for everything for the sake of Karnataka,” JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy had said yesterday.

Congress leader Siddaramaiah has on the other hand asked JD(S) to drop its candidate as the former had announced its candidate first.

“We expect lawmakers to cast conscience votes. I can’t tell you now who will vote for us,” he had said.

If no candidate emerges victorious based on the primary votes of the MLAs, the second preferential votes will be taken into account. As per some reports, the BJP is likely to win if these preferential votes are taken into consideration.