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    HomeBusinessKarnataka RS polls: Battle lines drawn for next year’s State polls

    Karnataka RS polls: Battle lines drawn for next year’s State polls



    Tiff between JD(S) and Congress boosts BJP morale ahead of Assembly elections

    Even as the official results for the four Rajya Sabha seats for which elections were held on Friday is yet to be declared, it is clear that the division between opposition Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) has led to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagging three seats. The outcome of the Rajya Sabha polls is an indicator of the bitter three-way contest for the State assembly polls which is less than nine months away.

    An angry JD(S) supremo and former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy lashed out at the Congress and said that “From tomorrow the State will see a new era of politics. Congress has been exposed and it is clear to the people that they have not stood by the mantra of secular unity. Voters of the State will teach Congress a lesson.”

    In the 224-member assembly, BJP has 120 members, Congress 69 and JDS 32 apart from two independents, with one seat being vacant. For a RS candidate to win he needs to get a minimum of 45 votes.

    While the BJP initially had fielded Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and well known actor Jaggesh for the two seats, they were assured of winning, it announced a third candidate Lehar Singh Siroya after it realised the split between the two opposition parties. Congress high command had announced the ticket to former union minister and party policy honcho Jairam Ramesh. For the fourth seat, the JDS – which fielded outgoing RS member and industrialist D Kupendra Reddy – was short of 13 votes, and appealed to the Congress to transfer its extra votes.

    However, the acrimonious relationship between Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah and the Gowda family which controls JDS meant that the Congress fielded a second candidate Mansoor Ali Khan. This division of votes has led to BJP getting an unexpected bounty in the form of an additional RS seat. While nine months is a long time in politics, the bitterness between Congress and JDS is may prevent pre-poll alliance between the two parties. Also, Congress is the main rival to JDS in its stronghold of south Karnataka.

    KPCC President DK Shivakumar had said that since in the earlier round of RS polls they had helped former PM and JDS leader Deve Gowda enter RS by not putting up a candidate “we had expected JDS to reciprocate this time. It is JDS which is responsible for the split in opposition votes.”

    Political analyst L Manjunath said that the division between the two opposition parties was music to BJP’s ears. “The state government has had a mediocre track record in fulfilling poll promises till now. There are internal schisms within BJP with former CM Yediyurappa sulking in the background. But the split between Congress and JDS would have boosted the party’s morale for the State elections next year.’

    Published on June 10, 2022

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