Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Congress’ Jairam Ramesh, Oscar Fernandes and K C Ramamurthy today won Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka in the biennial elections highlighted by cross voting from JDS and votes for cash controversy.
Dissidence-hit JD(S) suffered a humiliating blow with eight of its MLAs cross voting in favour of Congress, with the party admitting it even before the polling deadline ended.
Congress’ candidate, former IPS official K C Ramamurthy pulled off a resounding victory as he secured 52 votes, aided by the support of Independents and JDS rebel MLAs.
Congress with 122 members was assured of two seats for former Union ministers Jairam Ramesh and Oscar Fernandes, but with a surplus of 33 votes, the party fielded Ramamurthy.
The required strength for victory is 45 votes.
Nirmala Seetharaman secured 46 votes with BJP, which with 44 members was short of one vote, making up the shortfall comfortably.
In a loss of face, eight JD(S) MLAs defied the party whip voting against party candidate businessman B M Farooq and supported Congress, as the red-faced party said it would take action against them at a meeting here tomorrow.
Farooq secured 33 votes against the party’s strength of 40.
“8 MLA’s have voted against JD(S) in today’s Rajya Sabha election in favour of Congress. Tomorrow in the party’s meeting, we are going to take action against them according to provisions of the party constitution,” JD(S) spokesman Ramesh Babu said.
Rebel MLAs who cross-voted are Zameer Ahmed Khan, Chaluvaraya Swamy, Iqbal Ansari, Balakrishna, Ramesh Bandisiddegowda, Gopalaiah, Bheema Nayak and Akhanda Srinivas Murthy, Babu said, admitting the loss much before polls ended.
A furious JD(S) chief and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy called them the “cancer” for the party.