JD-S to field fifth candidate in K’taka for RS, cross-voting fear haunts Cong

Bengaluru, Feb 15 (IANS) Former Chief Minister and JD-S state President HD Kumaraswamy announced on Thursday that a fifth candidate would be fielded for the Rajya Sabha elections from Karnataka by the BJP-JD-S alliance.

The elections are being held for the four seats of the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka. The fielding of the fifth candidates indicates a close fight between the ruling Congress and Opposition BJP and JD-S.

Speaking to reporters at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru, Kumaraswamy stated that senior JD-S leader Kupendra Reddy would file his nomination seeking election to the Rajya Sabha from the state.

It has been decided to field Kupendra Reddy as the NDA candidate as per the suggestions of the national and state leadership of the BJP.

“There are additional votes in the BJP. Those votes should not be laid to waste. We have decided to transfer additional votes to Kupendra Reddy,” he stated.

The BJP has announced the candidature of Narayansa Bandage for the Rajya Sabha as its candidate.

The ruling Congress party has fielded AICC Treasurer Ajay Maken, Rajya Sabha MP Syed Naseer Hussain and GC Chandrashekhar. The ruling party is worried over the last minute entry of the fifth candidate.

Sources said that the party is concerned about cross-voting and is devising a strategy to prevent any such development.

On the other hand, the BJP-JD-S combine is strategising on how to woo disgruntled MLAs of the Congress party.

As per the numbers in the Assembly, the Congress can win three seats and the BJP would be able to ensure the victory of one candidate.

The NDA candidate Kupendra Reddy is required to get five votes after the transfer of votes of the JD-S and additional 20 votes of the BJP.

The BJP and the JD-S are planning to get votes of four independent MLAs.

The Congress has 135 MLAs, the BJP 66, the JD-S 19 MLAs, two Independents and two other candidates in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly.

Sources said that the Congress MLAs were asked to gather at a resort suggested by the party before elections.

The JD-S had suffered humiliation during the 2013 Rajya Sabha elections as seven MLAs of the party had voted for the Congress candidate.

The fifth candidate Kupendra Reddy, who has been fielded by the alliance now was elected to the Rajya Sabha as an Independent candidate in 2014.

In 2022, when he was fielded by the JD-S for the Rajya Sabha elections, he had declared assets to the tune of Rs 815 crore and emerged as the wealthiest candidate.



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