Rajya Sabha polls: JD(S) to move High Court against rebel MLAs in Karnataka

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Keen on not letting the Congress in Karnataka nominate its third MP to the Rajya Sabha in the upcoming polls with ease, the Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) has decided to crackdown on its rebel MLAs. Two years after seven members of the JD(S) cross-voted, party supremo H D Devegowda has decided to initiate legal action against them.

H D Devegowda

The JD(S) had filed a complaint against its MLAs, Chaluvarayaswamy, Akhanda Srinivas Murthy, Zameer Ahmed, H C Balakrishna, Babu Bandisiddegowda, Iqbal Ansari and Bheema Naik with the speaker of the Karnataka legislative assembly. Despite a whip issued by the JD(S) asking its MLAs to vote for B M Farooq, its Rajya Sabha candidate in 2016, the MLAs had voted in support of the Congress' KC Ramamurthy.

"Having high respect for the Honourable speaker of Assembly till today no action has been taken on above members. In this regard, we are forced to take the legal course of action before the honourable High Court of Karnataka," said a statement from H D Devegowda, National President, JD(S).

The JD(S)' decision to initiate legal action against the MLAs that it expelled in 2016, comes at a time when Karnataka is all set to nominate four MPs to the Rajya Sabha in the biennial polls. The Congress has, like in 2016, fielded three candidates L Hanumanthaiah, Naseer Hussain and G C Chandrashekar for the Rajya Sabha polls. While the party has comfortable numbers to elect two of its candidates, it is dependent on the support of JD(S) rebel MLAs and independent candidates to elect its third candidate.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded two-time MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar as its candidate and has comfortable numbers to elect him to the upper house. The JD(S) that has repeated its businessman candidate B M Farooq is severely short of votes (44 is required for each nomination) to nominate him.

The JD(S)' request to the Congress to support its candidate has not yielded positive results with the former pressing for three MPs to be nominated to negate the seat loss from Uttar Pradesh. The JD(S), fully aware of its rebel MLAs' plan to join the Congress ahead of Karnataka assembly Election 2018, has now decided to bring in a legal checkmate.

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