BENGALURU: The Congress, which has rejected JD(S)’s request to help it win one seat in the Rajya Sabha polls to be held on March 23, is exuding confidence of ensuring the victory of all its 3 candidates. The party is well on course in its number game, while BJP is set to see its candidate score easy victory.
Congress candidates L Hanumanthaiah, Naseer Hussain and GC Chandreshekar, BJP nominee Rajeev Chandrasekhar filed their nominations on Monday, the last day to file nominations. JD(S) candidate G M Farooq, who had already filed his papers on Friday, submitted one more set of nomination papers on Monday.
JD(S), which had extended support to Congress in BBMP and refrained from fielding its candidate in Gundlupet by-poll to facilitate Congress victory, has fielded its candidate Farooq with a request to Congress to return the favour by not fielding the third candidate and help JD(S) to win one seat. However, Congress has rejected the request and has fielded 3 candidates.
A contest is now on between Congress’ third candidate G C Chandrashekar and JD(S) man Farooq. However, Congress is well-ahead in this number game. The party has 122 members in the 225 member Assembly. A candidates needs 44 votes to win. Congress needs to muster 10 votes to see Chandrashekar sail through. “We are confident of ensuring the victory of all the Congress candidates. Apart from a few independents, we also have the support of JD(S) rebel MLAs,” KPCC President G Parameshwara said speaking to reporters after the party candidates filed their nominations.
Apart from its 122 MLAs, Congress is claiming the support of 7 independents and 7 rebel JD(S) members, thus taking its effective strength to 136 in the Rajya Sabha electoral battle. JD(S), with a strength of 37, is far from upsetting Congress’ calculations to see its lone candidate Farooq win.
Rahul backs fresh, clean faces
The selection of Congress candidates, which has sprung a surprise, is being seen as AICC President Rahul Gandhi’s assertive stand to back young leaders with a clean, non-controversial image. It is also interpreted as reward for organisational work. Chandrashekar and Naseer have come up from grassroot level of NSUI, the student wing of Congress. While selection of Hanumanthaiah, a Dalit from Madiga community, is seen as a smart move to assuage the feelings of the community which is agitated over the delay in implementation of justice A J Sadashiva Commission report recommending internal reservation for SC sub-castes.
Rajeev is a Kannadiga, says Yeddyurappa
BJP State President B S Yeddyurappa has defended the party’s decision to field Rajeev Chandrasekhar by stating that “Rajeev is a Kannadiga who is settled in Karnataka and has been a member of Rajya Sabha from Karnataka for the past 12 years.” “He has been in the forefront in raising his voice on the issues concerned that has affected the lives of people in Bengaluru. He has involved himself in the agitations to preserve the lakes of Bengaluru and protests against the Hebbal Steel bridge,” he said.