Karnataka MLC polls: Mallikarjun Kharge holds meet to finalise names, Rahul’s nod awaited

The polling will be held on June 13, and the last date to file nomination papers is June 3.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge

BENGALURU: Even as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and DyCM DK Shivakumar have finalised the list of Congress candidates for the biennial elections to 11 seats in the Legislative Council to be elected from the Assembly, the party high command, especially senior leader Rahul Gandhi, is likely to give a nod to the list only on Friday. 

The polling will be held on June 13, and the last date to file nomination papers is June 3. With 135 MLAs in the Karnataka Assembly, the Congress can win at least seven MLC posts. Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar, who is also KPCC president, have camped in Delhi since Tuesday to get the list approved by the Congress central leaders. 

According to informed sources, there was a difference of opinion in the Congress leadership about the renomination of Karnataka Minor Irrigation Minister NS Boseraju. “Shivakumar wants to get senior MLC BK Hariprasad on board by inducting him as a minister. Then, Boseraju may have to sacrifice, as only one from the Upper House can be made a minister,” a Congress leader told The New Indian Express. But given Boseraju’s loyalty to the high command, he may get renominated, the leader added.

Both Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar held discussions with AICC general secretaries KC Venugopal and Randeep Singh Surjewala on finalising the candidate list. 

On Wednesday evening, AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge returned from his campaign trail in Odisha and held a meeting to discuss the Karnataka MLC polls. Of the 300 who had lobbied for the seven posts, some of their names have been shortlisted, according to sources.

Names of Dr Yathindra (Siddaramaiah’s son), NS Boseraju, Ramesh Babu, KP Nanjundi, BV Srinivas, M Venkatesh, K Govindaraju, Vinay Karthik, AN Nataraj Gowda, Nanjaiahmutt, Veena Kashappanavar, Vasanth Kumar, Basavaraju, Puspa Amaranath, BC Muddugangadhar, SA Hussain, Tamatagara, Ivan D’Souza, Ramesh Kumar, and Vijay Mulgund.

“Kharge is in favour of nominating KPCC working president Vasanthkumar from Raichur when it comes to the selection of a candidate from the SC (Left) community,” a Congress insider said. 

Meanwhile, the Congress top brass is likely to accommodate a candidate belonging to the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community for the vacant seat following the resignation of former CM Jagadish Shettar, an informed source said.

Meanwhile, Kripa Alva, Matilda D’Souza, and Kavitha Reddy, among other aspirants, met the state and national leaders in Delhi. If they are not made MLCs, they are likely to get nominated to boards and corporations, sources added.

The Congress can win seven seats with 135 MLAs, as each nominee has to get 19 votes to win. After allotting the party MLAs’ votes for six nominees, the Congress leadership is likely to allot the votes of the remaining MLAs and the three independents to the seventh nominee, and it is interesting as to who that will be,” said a Congress leader.

It is to be seen whether BJP MLAs ST Somashekar and Shivaram Hebbar, who allegedly cross-voted in favour of Congress nominees in the Rajya Sabha polls, repeat the same in the MLC polls.  

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