Karnataka polls: JD(S) seeks Congress help for Rajya Sabha polls in exchange for support later
The Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka is attempting all it can to send its nominee to the upper house of the parliament. Karnataka is slated to send four MPs to the Rajya Sabha on March 23, 2018. With barely 30 MLAs by his side, state JD(S) chief H D Kumaraswamy is said to have reached out to the Congress for support.
Of the 4 seats, Congress is expected to conveniently nominate 2 MPs with votes to spare and the Bharatiya Janata Party 1 MP. While 45 votes are required to nominate one MP, the JD(S) is short of 15 votes with two MLAs resigning, the death of one MLA and seven others rebelling against the state leadership. Seven rebel MLAs of the JD(S) are all set to join the Congress ahead of Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018.
Desperate to send its nominee B M Farooq- who lost in the previous Rajya Sabha elections due to cross-voting by JD(S) MLAs- the party has now reached out to the Congress. H D Kumaraswamy has sought Congress' help in transferring votes of its remaining legislators to the club with the votes of JD(S) legislators to send its nominee to the upper house.
Kumaraswamy has offered his support to the Congress post-Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018 in case of a hung assembly in exchange for the former's help. Rebellion marred the JD(S) during the previous Rajya Sabha elections leading to H D Devegowda expelling seven MLAs- including Zameer Ahmed, a prominent Muslim leader, for anti-party activities.
The JD(S), after making the offer, will now wait for the Congress to take a call. Congress, already confident of a landslide victory in Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018- is looking to elect a nominate the third MP with the support of JD(S) and independent legislators. The Congress and the JD(S) are already in a coalition governing Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike- Bengaluru's civic body despite BJP emerging the single largest party.
The JD(S)' offer comes days after party chief H D Devegowda lambasted Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah- his political protege- and claimed that he would not share the dais with him. The JD(S) has already forged pre-poll alliances with Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). The offer now is for a post-poll alliance with the Congress in case the election results throw up a hung assembly.