MYSURU: Ruling out the possibility of pulling out JDS candidate Kupendra Reddy from the Rajya Sabha elections, party senior leader HD Kumaraswamy on Tuesday hinted that he is ready to negotiate with Congress to stop BJP from winning its third seat. He said JDS with 32 votes has a higher chance than Congress, which has 30 additional votes, to win the RS election. JDS is ready to exchange second-preference votes, provided Congress also agrees and acts positively, he added.
Congress, which attacked BJP over 40 per cent commission being collected from contractors, is helping the saffron party in the Rajya Sabha elections, he alleged. Though Congress is seeking JDS support to win the second seat, it has not approached nor sought our consent to field an additional candidate, raising questions over its commitment to defeat BJP, he said.
“I have not spoken to any leader and neither did Deve Gowda speak to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. Why did Congress not make minority candidate Mansur Ali Khan as its first candidate,” he asked. He criticised CLP leader Siddaramaiah for claiming JDS MLAs will cast conscience vote in the RS elections and asked if he had a conscience while hijacking seven JDS MLAs to get votes in favour of Congress candidates in 2018. He said RS poll results will expose who BJP’s ‘B Team’ is and warned the saffron party would capitalise on the victory of its third candidate.