The Congress’s decision to field B K Hariprasad as its candidate for the legislative council elections in Karnataka has surprised many party leaders. Hariprasad is a four-time Rajya Sabha MP and had been one of the seniormost general secretaries of AICC and a CWC member for many years. He was Opposition’s candidate for RS deputy chairman’s post in 2018. His term in the Upper House ends later this month. The Congress had denied him renomination to Rajya Sabha and instead fielded Mallikarjun Kharge, who won unopposed. It is said that Karnataka Congress president D K Shivakumar backed Hariprasad. Party leaders now wonder whether Hariprasad, a known OBC face, would be made Leader of Opposition in the Upper House in the state legislature as a counter to backward class leader Siddaramaiah.
Two days before Rajya Sabha polls, the BSP on Wednesday approached the Election Commission and requested it to not allow six rebel party MLAs to vote as Congress members in Rajasthan. In a letter to the CEC, BSP national general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra stated that neither has there been a merger of BSP at the national level nor has the party’s Rajasthan unit merged with the Congress at state level, which is a mandatory condition under 10th schedule of the Constitution. So, he argued, these MLAs cannot be allowed to participate in the voting as Congress members and are bound to follow the BSP whip. BSP’s state unit chief Bhagwan Singh Baba also approached the returning officer on Wednesday with the same request.
The Congress dropped Sanjay Jha, one of its visible social media and television faces, as its spokesperson. While the party assigned no reason, the action came days after he stoked a controversy by penning an article in which he argued that the party is hurtling towards political obsolescence and that there has been no serious effort to get it up and running with any urgency. The Congress appointed Delhi leader Abhishek Dutt and Sadhna Bharti as national media panellists. Bharti shot to fame a decade ago when she campaigned for Congress in Madhya Pradesh at the age of 13. She is said to be a fiery orator.
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