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RS polls: Cong books hotel rooms for Karnataka MLAs, so that rivals don't book them

Five candidates are in the fray for the elections. The Congress has fielded Ajay Maken, Syed Nasir Hussain and G C Chandrashekar, Narayansa Bhandage is the BJP candidate, while JD(S) has fielded D Kupendra Reddy.
Last Updated 27 February 2024, 00:53 IST

Bengaluru: On the pretext of ‘training’ its MLAs ahead of Tuesday’s Rajya Sabha elections and to ensure that its MLAs remain together, the Congress decided to keep them in a luxury hotel in the city on Monday night. 

They will come in batches to vote in favour of its three candidates in fray. 

Five candidates are in the fray for the elections. The Congress has fielded Ajay Maken, Syed Nasir Hussain and G C Chandrashekar, Narayansa Bhandage is the BJP candidate, while JD(S) has fielded D Kupendra Reddy.

Reddy filing nomination papers at the last minute necessitated the elections to the four seats. Each candidate requires a minimum of 45 votes to win.

Energy Minister K J George told reporters that the party was not moving its legislators to the hotel due to the fear of cross-voting. 

“They need to be trained on how the voting takes place and the party has to assign designated batches of legislators to each of its candidates,” the minister said. 

“Each batch of legislators will be trained separately. We have sufficient numbers to ensure the victory of all three candidates fielded by the party. We do not need the votes of members from other parties,” he said.  

Industries Minister M B Patil exuded confidence that the party would likely get more votes than it has, though its strength in the Assembly was sufficient to ensure victory of all three candidates. 

“We have got the numbers despite the death of one of our MLAs (Raja Venkatappa Naik). All our legislators are united. The party has convened a meeting of the legislature party to discuss strategies for the RS elections,” he said.

Shivajinagar Congress MLA Rizwan Arshad told reporters that there are 70 first-time MLAs in the party. They need to be trained in casting the votes. 

“We must have a strategy as BJP is known for misusing central agencies like Income Tax dept, Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation to threaten leaders of rival parties,” he said.

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(Published 27 February 2024, 00:53 IST)

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