Council polls: Stiff contest in BJP, Congress for tickets

Council polls: Stiff contest in BJP, Congress for tickets

The State presidents of both the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress are under tremendous pressure with the process of selecting candidates for the biennial elections to the Legislative Council from the Assembly being set in motion.

Eleven seats will fall vacant in the Council, as four MLCs from the BJP, four from the Congress and three from the JD(S) will retire after the six-year term on June 17.

By the virtue of its strength, the BJP can win six seats, while the Congress can win three and the JD(S) one seat. Each candidate will require a minimum of 19 votes to win. All the 225 members of the Assembly are eligible to vote.

The Congress and the JD(S) will have excess votes. The Congress will fall short of five votes to win one more seat. However, it can win one more seat if it manages to get seven excess votes of the JD(S).

The MLCs who are retiring are Motamma, V R Sudarshan, K C Kondaiah, Arshad Ali (all Congress), Qazi Abdul Azeem, S Chikkamadu and H C Neeravari (all JD-S) and Vimala Gowda, D S Veeraiah, Janardhana Reddy and Thontadarya (all BJP).

In the JD(S), none of the sitting MLCs are keen on contesting, said Chikkamadu. He said that all the four are planning to contest the next Assembly elections.

However, it is not the same with the BJP and the Congress. All the Congress MLCs are keen on continuing as members. Motamma, who has the backing of her party colleagues Veeranna Mattikatti and R V Venkatesh, has lobbied hard in Delhi.

Those who have no Assembly constituencies are banking on contesting from the Assembly, as it is an easier route to become a legislator.

For example, Kondaiah and Sudarshan. Both do not have any constituency as such to contest the Assembly polls. Hence, they are hoping to become MLCs.

However, there is stiff competition in the Congress. While C M Ibrahim, supported by Siddaramaiah, has lobbied hard in Delhi, B L Shankar, B K Chandrashekar, L Hanumanthaiah and V S Ugrappa too are aspirants.

Old-timers in the Congress are arguing that ‘migrants’ and those who have become ‘permanent fixtures’ should not be given an opportunity to contest the MLC elections. For example, Sudarshan has been an MLC for the last four terms.

KPCC president G Parameshwara said that at least 140 applications have been received seeking tickets to contest the polls, which are scheduled for June 11. Like in the Congress, there are too many aspirants in the BJP too.

The senior leaders have stressed that those who have worked hard for the party should be given importance. State party president K S Eshwarappa has announced that none of those retiring will get tickets to contest again.

Knowing well that such a ‘norm’ will not work, Vimala Gowda and Veeraiah are lobbying for the ticket. The names of BJP General Secretary Raghunath Malkapure, Mangala Sridhar, Gopinath Reddy, M B Bhanuprakash are making rounds.

The election committee of the BJP is likely to meet this week to finalise the candidates. The last date for filing nominations is June 1.

Retired

Y S V Datta - JD (S), N Thippanna and Srinath (both BJP), retired as MLCs on May 20.

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