THE OPPOSITION BJP in Karnataka has decided not to contest the bypolls to three seats in the state legislative council, including two vacated by the party, after failing to muster the requisite number of MLAs to bag the seats.
The elections are scheduled for October 4.
The BJP did not file nominations on September 24, the date for nominations for three legislative council seats — vacated by BJP leaders K S Eshwarappa, V Somanna and Congress deputy chief minister G Parameshwara — after failing to muster the support of 112 MLAs needed to win a seat.
The ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition is likely to see their three candidates — two Congress members and one from JD(S) — elected without a contest to the state council. The ruling coalition has the support of 118 MLAs against BJP’s 104 MLAs in the assembly.
The state BJP leadership headed by former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa decided against fielding candidates for the council polls to avoid the embarrassment of defeat due to lack of numbers and to avoid factional trouble within the party over the choice of candidates.
BJP has been accused by the Congress-JD(S) combine of trying to lure MLAs from their fold in an effort to muster the numbers to achieve a majority in the 224-member House. “If the BJP tries to poach our MLAs it should know that we can also get MLAs to switch sides,’’ Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had warned .
“BJP has decided not to field candidates after realising that they do not have the numbers,’’ Congress general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal said.