Much to the dismay of his party, JD(S) MLA from Kolar, K Srinivasa Gowda, voted for Congress candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections in Karnataka, apparently due to his love for the Congress. While leaving the Karnataka state assembly complex after casting his vote, Gowda told reporters, “I voted Congress.” When asked about the reason behind his action, he said, “Because I love it.”
On the eve of the Rajya Sabha elections, Siddaramaiah took to Twitter and posted a letter wherein he sought the backing of JD(S) MLAs. Kumaraswamy tweeted with a counter asking Congress to support the JD(S) candidate in order to defeat BJP.
Another JD(S) legislator S R Srinivas from Gubbi defied his party orders and voted for Congress instead. Earlier, party chief HD Kumaraswamy pointed out that senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah had asked JD(S) MLAs to refrain from voting for their own candidate and instead cast their votes for the grand old party.
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Accusing Siddaramaiah of “horse-trading,” Kumaraswamy said, “Today, he (Siddaramaiah) told the local media that he didn’t write to my MLAs. He had even tweeted the letter from his social media account. Now, he’s denying what he said yesterday. This shows his double standards.”
In the 224-member strong Karnataka Assembly, the BJP is in majority with 121 seats while the Congress has 70, followed by the JD(S) at 32. As per the Assembly figures, the BJP is slated to win two, and the Congress one. The election to the fourth seat becomes crucial as all three parties have fielded their respective candidates, with no one having enough numbers of their own to see their candidate through. Every candidate will require the support of at least 45 legislators to get elected.
The Congress has nominated former Union minister Jairam Ramesh and has gone with Mansoor Ali Khan for the closely-contested fourth seat. The BJP has re-nominated Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and has named actor Jaggesh, and Karnataka MLC Lahar Singh Siroya as its candidates for the Upper House. Real estate baron D Kupendra Reddy is JD(S)’s pick for the fourth seat.