Congress, JD(S) to hold talks on Rajya Sabha elections

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Bangalore, Jun 15 (UNI) The Congress and Janata Dal(S), who fought bitterly in the just-concluded Assembly elections in Karnataka, have decided to hold talks and clinch a pact for the biennial elections for four seats to the Rajya Sabha.

Elections to four Rajya Sabha (RS) seats from Karnataka Assembly for which poll would be held on June 26, the ruling BJP could easily get elected in two seats while Congress could get one on its own strength.

For the fourth seat, the Congress with its possible 32 surplus votes has to secure the support of JD(S), which has 28 legislators to get its candidate sail through in the poll.

According to party sources, the Congress High Command had authorised AICC General Secretary and in-charge of party affairs in Karnataka Prithviraj Chavan to hold talks with JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda to seek support for its candidate.

The JD(S), which has concluded its 'Interactive Session' today over the debacle of the party in the recent Assembly elections is likely to support Congress in the RS elections.

Party sources said both H D Deve Gowda and Prithviraj Chavan were likely to meet tonight to discuss the issue.

Tomorrow is the last date for filing nominations to RS elections for which notifications have already been issued by the Election Commission.

While BJP has named former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Rama Jois and Congress leader, who recently joined BJP Prabhakar Kore, as its nominees for the elections, the Congress and JD(S) have not yet finalised their parties candidates.

Former Maharashtra Governor S M Krishna, C K Jaffer Sharief, Veerappa Moily, Janardhana Poojary and Margaret Alva, were among those who are strong contenders in Congress for RS tickets.

Apart from biennial elections to four Rajya Sabha seats, the Election Commission has also notified polls to seven Karnataka Legislative Council seats.

BJP with its effective strength of 110 members in the 225-member, enjoying support of six independents and one nominated member in the Karnataka Assembly could garner four seats easily while Congress could get two seats from its strength of 80.

The JD(S), the other principal opposition party in the Assembly, however, is short of one vote with its strength of 28 members and likely to get it from Congress which has a surplus of 22 votes in the council in return to its assurance of support to Congress in RS elections.

The BJP has already announced its candidates and named Home Minister Dr V S Acharya, Sidharaju, R Shankarappa and Bharathy Shetty to Upper House for the council elections.

The Congress and JD(S), which together could win three other seats are yet to name their party nominees.

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