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Why the Rajya Sabha election from Karnataka will be about Kannada pride

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    Karnataka will on March 23 elect four members to the Rajya Sabha. The ruling Congress would have no problem in electing two members while the BJP can send one of its members to the upper house of Parliament. The fourth would be a fight by the Congress and JD(S).

    Why the Rajya Sabha election from Karnataka will be about Kannada pride

    With the Karnataka Assembly Elections round the corner, the focus would clearly be on Kannada pride. The Congress wants to ensure that it elects all three members who are from the state.

    The high command had proposed the name of Sam Pitroda and Janardhan Dwivedi, but Karnataka Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah is understood to have shot down the proposal on the ground that it would be better to elect locals. Further, in a bid to push the AHINDA agenda, Siddaramaiah wants a Dalit, minority and Lingayat to be in the race for the Rajya Sabha.

    Apart from Pitroda and Dwivedi, the High Command of the Congress is also trying to push the candidature of Meira Kumar. However, Siddaramaiah feels that it would send across a bad message to the Kannadigas especially in the wake of a crucial election.

    The BJP too finds itself in a spot. It has proposed the names of Rajeev Chandrashekhar and Vijay Sankeshwar. The BJP will take a final call on the matter. It is still unclear whose candidature the party would go with. If the BJP too decides to play the Kannada card, then it would go with Sankeshwar who hails from Hubbali in Karnataka.

    The job of the parties is becoming difficult in selecting a candidate. The issue of Kannada pride is centric to the election and Siddaramaiah has made his campaign all about it. Several Kannada organisations too have demanded that only a local should be sent to the Rajya Sabha.

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