HUBBALLI: JDS senior leader HD Kumaraswamy on Saturday said it is up to Congress to decide whether it wants to support the JDS candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections or send a BJP member to the Upper House.Kumaraswamy said Congress has 30 additional votes, BJP 32 and JDS 32 votes. If the second Congress candidate receives a lesser number of first-preference votes as compared to JDS and BJP, he would be eliminated in the first round itself. “Then, it would be a contest between BJP and JDS for the fourth seat. We are confident of winning it,” he said.
Fielding a second candidate is being projected as Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah’s plan to shoot two birds with a single stone. But the RS poll results will reveal that Siddaramaiah has pulled a stone over his head, he commented. The polls will decided who actually is BJP’s B-team, he added.
Stating that no Congress leader, except party Karnataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala, has spoken to him on the Rajya Sabha polls, Kumaraswamy said the dynamics of voting in the polls were explained to him. On Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge’s role, he said JDS did not approach him, but party candidate Kupendra Reddy did, through his old connections with Congress.
Ruling out any cross-voting by JDS MLAs, he said the leadership has sorted all issues.
On BJP national general secretary and Karnataka in-charge Arun Singh’s statement that JDS is a sinking ship, he said, “BJP itself is a sinking ship in the state. People are fed up with its governance here.”
Reacting to RSS chief Mohan Bhagawat’s comment on Gyanvapi mosque, Kumaraswamy said, “But other groups affiliated to RSS are making diametrically opposite statements and creating communal tension. It shows double standards in the leadership and they are playing mischief with the people’’.
We are united: Shivakumar
Responding to a TNIE report which said Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah and the KPCC president are united against senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge over the issue of the fourth Rajya Sabha seat, DK Shivakumar said there is no division in Congress and they are all united. He said that fielding Mansur Ali Khan as the second party candidate was the high command’s decision and there are no differences. Congress has put up the second candidate though it does not have the required 45 votes to get him elected. “Khargeji went to Delhi and met with the central leadership, but that was over some other issue,” Shivakumar maintained.