While newly-elected Congress and JD(S) MLAs are busy lobbying for ministerial berths, competition is intensifying among the aspirants in all the three leading political parties for 11 seats in the Legislative Council ahead of the June 11 byelection. Members of the Legislative Assembly form the electoral college to elect the new MLCs.
Currently, the BJP has 104 members in the Assembly, followed by Congress with 78 and JD(S) with 37. BSP and KPJP have one MLA each and there is one independent. While JD(S) enjoys the support of the BSP member, the other two are supporting Congress.The election has been necessitated as the term of 11 council members will expire on June 17. The members who will retire are B J Puttaswamy, D S Veeraiah, Somanna Bevinamarad, Raghunath Malkapure, M B Bhanuprakash, all from BJP, Congress leaders M R Seetharam, Motamma, C M Ibrahim and K Govindaraj, Syed Mudeer Aga of JD(S) and B S Suresh (Independent). Each candidate needs 19 votes to win and, based on the present strength in the Assembly BJP can win 5, Congress 4 and JD(S) 2.
For the five seats which BJP can win, State BJP general secretary Ravi Kumar, BJP’s Rudre Gowda and K P Nanjundi are likely to be nominated. Puttaswamy, Veeraiah and Bhanuprakash are lobbying to get renominated. Party spokesperson Ashwath Narayan and former MP Tejaswini Gowda are also among the contenders. BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa is set to chair a meeting to finalise the party candidates on May 29.
In Congress, former minister M R Seetaram and Motamma are in the race to get renominated. Former Mayor Ramachandrappa, former KPCC vice-president V R Sudarshan, Nivedit Alva, Nagaraj Yadav, Huchchappa, Nanjaiahanamath, former minister Rani Satish and Mukhyamantri Chandru are lobbying for the remaining seats in the Council from Congress.