Updated February 27th, 2024 at 06:03 IST

'Nataka' in Karnataka: 5 in Fray For 4 RS Seats, Resort-Politics Returns Amid Cross-Voting Fears

For D Kupendra Reddy to be elected, the JDS candidate requires 5 more votes -- that is where the fear of cross-voting for the rival camp sets in.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Karnataka Rajya Sabha Results 2024 | Image:PTI
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Bengaluru: The Rajya Sabha elections for the fourth seat in Karnataka is set for a cliffhanger after D Kupendra Reddy from JDS threw his hat in the ring, determined not to give Congress a walkover. Each candidate out of the five contestants requires 45 first preference votees to be elected to the Upper House. With the backing of 134 Congress MLAs and three MLAs - Latha Mallikarjun, K Puttaswamy Gowda and Darsan Puttnnaiah of the Sarvodaya Karnataka Paksha - the party is expected to get three seats out of four if there is no cross-voting.

Twist In The Tale?

Meanwhile, the combined strength of BJP, which has 66 MLAs and JDS, which has 19 MLAs, amounts to 85. While BJP's Narayansa Bhandage is set to sail through, the fate of Reddy remains undecided. For him to be elected, the JDS candidate requires 5 more votes -- that is where the fear of cross-voting sets in.

Resort Politics Back In Karnataka

Going by recent instances from previous Rajya Sabha elections, the fear of cross-voting turning into a reality is not unfounded. Fearing such a situation where at least 5 MLAs from Congress' camp vote for BJP-JDS, the party legislators have been instructed to stay at a hotel in Bengaluru. The three candidates from Congress are Ajay Maken, Syed Nasir Hussain and GC Chandrashekhar.

Trouble in Congress Camp?

Days ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls, few ministers from CM Siddaramaiah's cabinet chose to skip a strategy meet for the Lok Sabha elections at Karnataka Deputy CM DK Shivakumar's home office, according to our sources. A senior Congress leader further revealed that Siddaramaiah had warned that "no sort of rebellion will be tolerated in the face of upcoming Lok Sabha polls."

Time and again, Shivakumar has claimed that that JDS state unit chief HD Kumaraswamy has tried to lure Congress MLAs to cross-vote for his party's candidate.

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Meanwhile, Congress has tried to woo Janardhan Reddy of the Kalyana Rajya Pragathi Paksha to vote in the Grand Old Party's favour. Reddy was seen with both Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar recently.

With so many things that can go wrong for the Congress, the race to the finish line for the fourth seat will be a contest to watch out for. Can BJP-JDS pull off a surprise? Only time will tell.

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Published February 27th, 2024 at 04:51 IST