K'taka MLA Polls: BJP aims to be single largest party

MLC polls: BJP aims for 'single largest party tag' in Legislative Council

Congress is currently the single largest party in the Legislative Council with 28 MLCs

Karnataka Legislative Council with plexiglass barriers installed. Credit: DH Photo

As many as 2.34 lakh voters will be eligible to exercise their franchise in four Legislative Council constituencies bound for polls on Wednesday, October 28. Ruling BJP will have to win at least two of the four constituencies to be the single largest party at the Council, a position currently held by Congress, which has one MLC more than BJP.

Biennial elections are being held for two teachers constituencies - Bangalore Teachers and North East Teachers, and two graduates constituencies - Karnataka West Graduates and Karnataka South East Graduates, in which 40 candidates are in the fray.

BJP candidate from Bangalore Teachers' Constituency Puttanna will be seeking re-election for the fourth time, having represented the constituency thrice previously as a JD(S) candidate since 2002. He joined BJP in March this year after JD(S) expelled him for 'anti-party activities' in November 2019. He will be up against Congress's Praveen Peter and JD(S)'s AP Ranaganatha, who are among the nine candidates contesting the polls.

Rebel trouble

The ruling party, which is striving to strengthen its numbers in the Legislative Council faces a setback in Karnataka South East Graduate constituency, as it had to expel two BJP members from the party for contesting as rebels. DT Srinivas, husband of Hiriyur BJP MLA K Poornima and Halanur Lepakshi were expelled from the party days ahead of the polls by the state unit.

The constituency is currently represented by JD(S) MLA R Chowda Reddy Thoopalli. BJP has fielded Chidanand M Gowda for the MLC constituency, while the Congress candidate is former MLC Ramesh Babu. He had switched camps from JD(S) to Congress in September this year, upset with the party for 'depriving him of opportunities' to enter the Legislative Council.

Karnataka West Graduates Constituency has 11 candidates in the fray, where sitting MLC from BJP Sankanur SV is contesting against RM Kuberappa from Congress and KS Channappa from JD(S). Noted Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj is a candidate from Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha from North East Teacher's Constituency, which was represented by Congress's Sharanappa Mattur in the previous term. BJP has fielded Shashil G Namoshi and JD(S) Timmayya Purle.

Opposition Congress is the single largest party in the Legislative Council currently with 28 MLCs (plus chairman), followed by BJP which has 27. There are 14 JD(S) MLCs and one independent.