RS polls in Karnataka: Cong wins 3 seats, BJP gets 1

RS polls in Karnataka: Cong wins 3 seats, BJP gets 1

RS polls in Karnataka: Cong wins 3 seats, BJP gets 1

Three Congress candidates, including K C Ramamurthy, and Union Minister Niramala Sitharaman of the BJP won the elections to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka on Saturday.

The Deve Gowda-led JD(S) received a severe setback yet again with its lone contestant, B M Farook, not only being defeated, but also failing to get the votes of all 40 MLAs. Eight JD(S) MLAs openly challenged the party leadership and voted for the Congress, defying the party whip.

The three Congress winners are: former Union ministers Oscar Fernandes and Jairam Ramesh, and K C Ramamurthy, a former IPS officer. Ramamurthy, who heads the CMR educational institutions in Bengaluru, secured the highest number of votes – 52 – among the four candidates, despite being the third candidate of the party.

For Fernandes, this is the fourth term as an RS member, while it is the third for Ramesh. Ramamurthy, a political novice, is entering the Upper House for the first time. Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Niramala Sitharaman was a member of the RS for two years.

The ruling Congress has made most of the rebellion brewing in the JD(S) as well as between the independents and MLAs of smaller parties.

Cross-voting

The number of JD(S) rebels rose from five in the Friday’s Council polls to eight in the RS polls. The JD(S) rebels, who voted for the Congress, are likely to join the Grand Old Party in the coming days. The hapless JD(S) cried foul, charging the Congress with indulging in malpractices and lodged complaints with the Election Commission, but to no avail.

The complaints only delayed the counting of the votes by an hour. Of the eight rebels, three MLAs are from Bengaluru. And most of the JD(S) corporators in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) are controlled by the trio – Zameer Ahmed Khan, Akhanda Srinivasmurthy and Gopalaiah. So, any attempt by the JD(S) to sever its ties with the Congress in the BBMP Council will only lead to more trouble for the party. Currently, the Congress holds the reins of power in the BBMP Council with the support of JD(S).

Besides, the Congress securing the support of the Independent MLAs and legislators of smaller parties lent credence to the charges of a tacit understanding between the ruling party and the BJP in the Council and the RS polls.

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