BENGALURU: The Janata Dal (S) Legislature Party (JDLP) meeting on Friday is likely to finalise former prime minister and party supremo HD Deve Gowda’s name for the upcoming Rajya Sabha (RS) elections. The polls to four RS seats from the state will be held on June 19 and Tuesday is the last date for filing nominations.
While the ruling BJP can get two of its candidates elected, the Congress with its strength of 68 MLAs can comfortably see one member through. A JDS-Congress combine can ensure the victory of a fourth candidate. If Gowda decides to contest the polls, he would require support from the Congress as his party with a strength of 36 MLAs falls short of the required number. Each candidate requires 45 votes to make it to the Upper House of Parliament.
JDS MLC TA Saravana said all the legislators of the party are keen to see that Gowda is elected and they will discuss the matter at the JDLP meeting. The JDS legislator hoped that if Gowda decides to contest the elections, both Congress and BJP are likely to extend their support to his candidature as a goodwill gesture to the former prime minister. Newly appointed state Congress president D K Shivakumar is said to be keen on backing Gowda.
While it helps him win the goodwill of the dominant Vokkaliga community in South Karnataka, the Congress will also get the regional party’s support in the state legislative council elections. Sources in the BJP too said the party is unlikely to field a third candidate if the Congress-JDS combine decides to field Gowda. The party is yet to decide on its candidates and a strategy for the polls and all options are open, sources said. As a goodwill gesture to the former PM, the party may not field a third candidate, the sources added. If the JDS-Congress combine puts up a candidate for the fourth seat, the BJP will not have the required number to ensure the victory of its third candidate.