Nine in fray for seven Council seats

Distrust between Cong-Janata Dal (S) comes to fore

Mutual distrust between the Congress and the JD(S) on Monday led to both parties selecting two candidates each for the Council polls, breaking away, at least temporarily, from their agreement to support each other for elections to the Upper House of the State legislature and Rajya Sabha.

By virtue of their strength in the Legislative Assembly, BJP can send four of its candidates to the Council. An independent candidate has also filed his nomination papers, but it is likely to be rejected, official sources said.
Unless one candidate - either from the Congress or the JD(S) - decides to withdraw his nomination, elections will have to be held on June 10. The last date to withdraw nominations is June 3.

BJP’s four candidates - former minister V Somanna, former MP C H Vijayashankar, long time party associate Narayansa Bhandage and Ashwathanarayana - filed their papers on Monday morning.

Later in the day, Congress’ R V Venkatesh, sitting chairman in the Upper House Veeranna Mattikatti and JD(S)’ sitting MLC M Srinivas and former MLA Suryanarayana Reddy also filed their nomination papers.

As many as 29 first preference votes are required to elect each candidate. The Congress can send two candidates to the Upper House. The JD(S), having 27 members in the Assembly, can send one candidate but only with the support of the Congress.
As per an informal arrangement between the Congress and the JD(S) arrived last week, the Congress had agreed to provide support for two council seats to the JD(S). The JD(S) in turn had agreed to support the Congress for the second Rajya Sabha (RS) seat -- polls for which is coming up shortly after the Council elections.

However, the Congress’ decision to renominate senior leader B K Hariprasad to the RS is said to have been opposed by JD(S) Supremo H D Deve Gowda.
The JD(S) leader is said to have conveyed to the Congress top brass in that event his party would rather render support to realtor Kupendra Reddy.
Reddy, who contested unsuccessfully on a Congress ticket from Bomannahalli assembly constituency, is one of the many Rajya Sabha aspirants seeking nomination from the Congress.

Top leaders of both parties remained closeted through the day holding parleys with partymen on the next step of action. With no sign of breaking the deadlock and the deadline fast approaching, the parties decided to file nominations for two seats each. Later in the evening, JD(S) State President H D Kumaraswamy left for New Delhi to hold discussion with the Congress high command.

BJP
* V Somanna
* Narayansa Bhandage
* C H Vijayashankar
* Ashwathanarayana

Congress
* Veeranna Mattikatti
* R V Venkatesh

JD(S)
* M Srinivas
* Suryanarayana Reddy

Independent
* G Narayanagowda

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