JD(S) moves legislators to resort ahead of Rajya Sabha elections

Bengaluru Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) has moved all its legislators into a resort in the Whitefield locality in Bengaluru to thwart any attempts to poach their votes ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections to be held on Friday.

“It is a routine practice as we will have a JDLP (JDs Legislature Party) meeting this evening and people (legislators) who have come from different places will stay back there,” BM Farooq, a JD(S) leader, told HT.

JD(S) has moved its legislators to Taj Vivanta in Whitefield, about 25 kms from the Vidhana Soudha.

The JD(S) has fielded Kupendra Reddy as its sole candidate for the fourth and final seat for the upper house of Parliament. However, the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too are eyeing this seat as they have also fielded candidates in the hope to secure the seat and increase their tally in the Rajya Sabha.

The BJP has fielded Nirmala Sitharaman, Jaggesh and Lahar Singh Siroya while the Congress has fielded Jairam Ramesh and Mansoor Ali Khan.

However, two of three candidates can win the seats in the first round itself while it will have to depend on second preferential votes for the third candidate which it hopes it can achieve if all the opposition legislators vote for their respective candidates.

The BJP has 32 surplus votes, the Congress has 25 and the JD(S) has 32 as well. At least five legislators from the JD(S) are expected to abstain from the vote as they have already decided to part ways with the regional outfit.

The JD(S) on Wednesday made yet another appeal to the Congress to support its candidate, Reddy.

“He is an experienced Rajya Sabha member & all parties must extend support to him with open mind. To strengthen the secular forces Congress must fully support Kupendra Reddy,” HD Kumaraswamy, former chief minister and JD(S) leader, said in a post on twitter.

“To defeat the BJP, Congress should support JD(S) which has more votes than it.There is no doubt that history & people will decide in future based on the outcome of this election result. I firmly believe that honourable @rssurjewala will understand this point,” he added.

However, Kumaraswamy was not so cordial during a press conference later in the day when he accused the Congress and particularly Siddaramaiah of being “shameless” and questioned their “moral authority” to reach out to the regional outfit for support.

“They should be ashamed. They helped defeat our party leaders in the elections and what moral right do they have to write to our legislators asking for support,” he questioned.

The statements were in reaction to a letter written by Siddaramaiah to JD(S) legislators, seeking support for the Congress’ second candidate, Khan.

The JD(S) has said that it is in touch with all five rebel legislators who have assured to support the party despite their open claims to part ways with the outfit before the 2023 assembly elections.

“People’s representatives shall have to be the voice of the people’s conscience. I request @JanataDal_S MLAs to cast their vote of conscience to our party candidate Shri @MansoorKhanINC who is committed to secularism,” Siddaramaiah said in a post on twitter.

“The victory of @INCKarnataka candidate Shri @MansoorKhanINC will not just be the victory for Congress, but a victory for both Congress & @JanataDal_S which believes in secular principles,” he added.

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