Bangalore: All Parties Indulge in Cross-Voting; Saradgi of Cong Loses
Daijiworld Media Network - Bangalore
Bangalore, Jun 11: As all the three major political party MLAs merrily indulged in cross-voting, the Congress party suffered a major political embarrassment with its official candidate and former MP, Iqbal Ahmed Saradgi suffering a humiliating defeat in the crucial elections to the 11 seats in the Karnataka Legislative Council from the State Legislative Assembly held on Monday.
Adding to the embarrassment of both the Congress and ruling BJP, the JD(S) backed independent candidate Byarathi Suresh, the real estate kinpin, won the biggest upset victory by bagging the highest number of 23 votes and romped home in the first preferential voting itself.
JD(S) MLCs Syed Muneer Aga and Byarathi Suresh
Congress MLCs M R Sitaram, Motamma and K Govindraju
BJP MLCs Vimala Gowda, B J Puttaswamy, D S Veeraiah, Raghunat Rao Malkapure, Somanna and Bhanuprakash
The ruling BJP, however, had the consolation of seeing through all its six official candidates pull through. But barely three – former chief minister B S Yeddyurpapa’s close supporter and political advisor B J Puttaswamy, sitting MLC D S Veeraiah and senior party worker Somanna Bevinamarada, the Congress party’s fourth candidate M R Seetharam, vice chairman of the M S Ramaiah Educational Institutions, and JD(S) candidate Syed Muneer Aga as well as Suresh got elected in the first preference voting.
The Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council and BJP candidate Vimala Gowda, State BJP general secretary Raghunath Rao Malkapure, State BJP vice-president M B Bhanuprakash, former minister and Congress opposition leader Motamma and Karnataka Olympic Association President K Govindaraj of the Congress managed to get elected in the second preferential votes.
The former Congress MP from Gulbarga Saradgi, who got the party ticket with the support of Union Labour Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge, managed to get only 15 first preferential votes, lowest among all contesting candidates.
In fact, the Congress opposition leader in the Assembly Siddaramaiah was upset that his close supporter and former Union minister C M Ibrahim was given short-shrift.
Siddaramaiah had even resigned his post and finally had to be persuaded by the Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and AICC president Sonia Gandhi as well as other Congress leaders to relent and withdraw his resignation.
The Congress has 71 members in the Lower House. As many as 12 candidates were in the fray for 11 Council seats. In the 225 member Lower House, the ruling BJP has 122 members, including the Speaker, one nominated member and one independent MLA Varthur Parakash, who is the Minister for Textiles.
At least flve members from the ruling BJP, six from Congress and one from JD(S)
are said to have indulged in cross-voting. The MLAs are said to have violated the whip issued by the respective parties in view of the secret ballot system. Congress member Rudresh Gowda’s vote is believed to have been declared invalid.
All six BJP candidates should have won in the first preferential voting. But on account of massive cross-voting by the ruling party members, only three candidates managed to secure the required number of 19 votes to win.
The JD(S) candidate and trade merchant from Ramanagram, S M Aga, sailed though easily. The party has 26 members in the Assembly. All the seven surplus votes of JD(S) have gone in favour of Suresh.
Former Minister and independent member B Sriramulu, whose padayatra entered 49th day on Monday, did not cast his vote.
CM Expresses Happiness, But Wants All Parties to Introspect
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda expressed happiness that all the six official candidates of BJP have won. ``But all of us need to introspect in the future given difference of votes secured by party candidates and the Independent candidate,” the Chief Minister said.
Sadananda Gowda felt all the three major political parties need to introspect the role of money and caste in elections.
The Congress, which has been championing the cause of Muslims, exposed its true color by defeating its candidate former MP from Gulbarga Iqbal Ahmed Saradgi.
The JD(S) and independents backed B S Suresh, the land developer, won the elections on account of cross-voting by members of all three major political parties in the State.
``I am happy. All six candidates of the party win elections. State BJP President K S Eshwarappa reiterated that the money and caste played a vital role in this elections also. The real estate businessman Suresh’s victory was clearly indicated the role of cash money in elections,” he said.
The State BJP President K S Eshwarappa had said that the admission of several migrants led to bad state of affairs in the party. He said that the party regretted giving tickets in an “indiscriminate manner” to secure power.
Even though the BJP has enough strength (122) to get elected all six candidates in the first preference, only three candidates managed to secure required 19 votes to win.