Ramamurthy Congress' third candidate for Rajya Sabha elections from state

Ramamurthy Congress' third candidate for Rajya Sabha elections from state

The Congress on Monday fielded its third candidate - K C Ramamurthy, retired IPS officer - by declaring him an official party nominee for the June 11 Rajya Sabha polls.

The party’s first two official candidates, former union ministers Oscar Fernandes and Jairam Ramesh, filed their papers on Monday. The name of Ramamurthy had not figured in the first list, though the party had backed him. As a step to check Congress votes going to candidates of opposition parties, the Congress officially declared the third candidate. Ramamurthy also filed his papers on Monday.

The elections, if required, are scheduled to be held for four seats of the Rajya Sabha on June 11, with MLAs forming the electoral college.

A candidate needs a minimum of 45 votes to get elected. The ruling Congress, with 123 MLAs, can win two seats on its strength and will be left with 33 excess votes, while the BJP with 44 MLAs can manage to win only one seat by seeking the support of one more legislator. The JD(S) with 40 MLAs is falling short of five votes to secure victory for its candidate.

The JD(S) made a vain bid to convince the Congress to support its nominee B M Farookh. Union Minister Nirmala Seetharaman is the BJP’s choice.  If the Congress had not fielded its third nominee, all the four candidates in fray would have won unopposed.

With Ramamurthy falling short of 12 votes, the Congress is banking on the support of nine independent legislators, P Rajeev of the BSR Congress and a group of five JD(S) legislators led by Zameer Ahmed Khan.

JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy accused the Congress of misusing the official machinery to woo the independents.

However, he said he was sure that Farookh would secure the votes of several Congress MLAs. In the 2012 council polls, several Congress members indulged in cross-voting to defeat the official candidate Iqbal Ahmed Saradgi, he pointed out. Unlike for the RS polls, for the Council, voting is through secret ballot.
DH News Service

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