The voting trends in elections to seven legislative council seats in Karnataka Friday suggest that the ruling Congress is set to win three of four Rajya Sabha seats that go to polls Saturday, while BJP wins one.
Ten Independent MLAs and five JDS rebels are expected to swing the polls in favour of the Congress for a Rajya Sabha seat where JDS is also in contention.
The elections to seven legislative council polls saw Congress candidates winning four seats, while BJP and JD(S) won two and one seat, respectively.
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The entire Congress contingent of 124 MLAs (123 elected and one nominated) turned out to vote for the party’s four nominees. Congress had allocated 31 MLAs each to vote for the nominees, although each candidate needed only around 29 votes to win. With rebel MLAs like A S Nadahalli also falling in line, party nominees sailed smooth.
Some Congress candidates received more than 31 votes, indicating that five rebels in JD(S) camp and some Independents voted in the party’s favour.
BJP candidate V Somanna won by securing 31 votes of the party’s 44 MLAs. The party’s second candidate Lahar Singh won with the backing of 13 Independents and the remaining BJP votes. JD(S)’s first candidate K V Narayanaswamy won 30 of the party’s 40 votes, but second candidate educationist S M Venkatapathi got only five votes.
For Rajya Sabha polls, each candidate needs at least 45 votes from the 224 MLAs to win. Congress, with 123 MLAs, is expected to allocate around 47 votes each for its main candidates — Jairam Ramesh and veteran Oscar Fernandes. The party is likely to use the remaining votes along with those from 10 Independents and JD(S) rebels to get its third candidate K C Ramamurthy elected.
The BJP, which has 44 MLAs, is expected to get the additional votes of a KJP MLA Patil and two Independent MLAs to ensure a win for its lone candidate, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The JD(S), which has 40 MLAs, is likely to lose with five of its MLAs breaking ranks. One of the rebels, Zameer Ahmed, said he would vote for the Congress candidate.