Karnataka Rajya Sabha polls: DKS rules out cross-voting from Congress

Bengaluru, Feb 27 (IANS): The stage is all set for the election for four Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka on Tuesday amid high drama as both the ruling Congress and opposition BJP and JD-S are claiming that they would ensure the victory of their candidates at any cost.

The Congress had called a meeting of all MLAs at a private star hotel here and the MLAs were made to stay there overnight due to fears of cross-voting.

Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress President D.K. Shivakumar, asked if there would be cross voting, ruled it out and mock voting would be conducted for all the legislators on Monday night.

Addressing reporters at the hotel, the venue for the mock voting, he said: "The legislators will be participating in a mock voting session tonight and they will stay at the hotel. They will go to the voting venue directly from here."

The death of Surpur MLA Raja Venkatappa Naik has proved to be a setback for the party. However, the party is confident of getting the votes of independent MLAs Latha Mallikarjun and K. Puttaswamy Gowda.

Sarvodaya Party MLA Darshan Puttanaiah and KRPP MLA Gali Janardhana Reddy are also likely to cast their vote for Congress candidates.

Mallikarjun had attended the Legislative party meeting of the Congress.

Shivakumar also stated that BJP MLA S.T. Somashekar has been his buddy for years. Somashekar, along with fellow party MLA Shivaram Hebbar, are skipping BJP party meetings and identifying with Congress leaders. Their moves on Tuesday will be eagerly watched.

The Congress has fielded party Treasurer Ajay Maken, Rajya Sabha MP Syed Naseer Hussain, and G.C. Chandrashekhar. Senior BJP leader Narayansa Bandage and Kupendra Reddy, from the JD-S had filed their nominations as the candidates of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the Rajya Sabha. The fielding of Kupendra Reddy as the fifth candidate has created intense competition between the ruling Congress and the BJP.

The BJP has issued a whip for all its MLAs to be compulsorily present for voting and cast their votes to the candidates as directed by the party.

The elections are prestigious for the families of former PM H.D. Deve Gowda and former CM B.S. Yediyurappa. Rajya Sabha elections are the first litmus test faced by the BJP and JD-S alliance. Yediyurappa’s son B.Y. Vijayendra is the BJP state President.

JD-S leader Kupendra Reddy, fielded as fifth candidate from the NDA, expressed confidence that he will get required votes to win in the election.

Police has imposed curbs in the surrounding areas of Vidhana Soudha from Monday till Feb 28 morning. The voting on Tuesday will start from 10 a.m.and go on till 4 p.m.. The counting will take place between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. The Congress has 134 MLAs, the BJP 66 and JD-S 19 MLAs. There are 2 independents and 2 others. The cross voting fear is haunting both sides.






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Title: Karnataka Rajya Sabha polls: DKS rules out cross-voting from Congress

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