MYSURU/BENGALURU: With just two days left for filing of nomination papers for the biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha, the BJP kept up the suspense over its nominee list. Former Prime Minister Deve Gowda is likely to file his nomination on Tuesday. AICC chief Sonia Gandhi spoke to him on Sunday evening, welcoming his decision to file his papers.
Congress candidate Mallikarjun Kharge’s entry into the Rajya Sabha is almost certain as the party needs only 45 of its 68 votes. While the BJP has seen some pull-push politics over the Rajya Sabha ticket, insiders suggested that businessman Prakash Shetty and educationist Prabhakar Kore might be the final two to be nominated, and that Ramesh Katti might not make it to the final list.
Prakash Shetty, whose name was doing the rounds in 2014 for a Rajya Sabha seat, failed to make it to the final list of party nominees. His name was again in the news for the Lok Sabha seat from Udupi-Chikmagalur, but he missed that opportunity too. Kore has served two terms in the Rajya Sabha and is likely to get a third term too.
Though the Congress had assured the party of its surplus votes to stop the BJP from winning three of the four seats, Gowda had been reluctant to give his assent. JDS leaders had tried to convince Gowda to take the plunge, with former CM H D Kumaraswamy and others insisting that he should represent the state. Gowda, who lost the Tumakuru LS election as a Congress-JDS alliance candidate, was still coping with the defeat, sources close to Gowda said.
Though he was a RS MP in 1994-96, when he was Prime Minister, he was reluctant to enter the Rajya Sabha during his sunset days, as it could bring a blemish to his long political career, said a senior JDS leader. On the other hand, Deve Gowda will give the JDS a national identity as the party has a lone MP, his grandson Prajwal Revanna, from Hassan Lok Sabha constituency.