JD(S) secretary general Danish Ali Friday said money first came into play during Rajya Sabha elections in the state in 2002. He said this a day after two TV channels aired a sting operation that purportedly showed Karnataka MLAs demanding money for supporting candidates in the Rajya Sabha elections.
“The element of money power got into play for the first time in Karnataka Rajya Sabha elections, when, in 2002, the JD(S) and the Congress together supported the candidature of liquor baron Vijay Mallya as an independent candidate,” he alleged.
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He alleged that when Mallya tried his luck the next time, in 2010, the BJP was ready to transfer its surplus votes to him to facilitate his victory. “In a way, all three parties (JD-S, BJP and Congress) are responsible for having started this trend,” he added. Ali had been the contender for the JD(S) ticket in both elections.
“May be”, he said, when asked if his demand for cancellation of the current Rajya Sabha poll process in Karnataka stemmed from an assessment that the JD(S) candidate was likely to lose the election. He claimed that he had the backing of former prime minister and senior JD(S) leader H D Deve Gowda with regard to his letter to the Election Commission seeking cancellation of the polls.
The JD(S) has 40 members in a House of 224. The party had fielded B M Farooq. The BJP has the requisite strength to win one of the four seats, which have to be filled. The Congress has upset JD(S) calculations by putting up its candidate for the third seat also.