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Rajya Sabha polls: In a surprise move, BJP-JDS alliance fields Kupendra Reddy as fifth Karnataka candidate

In a surprise move, the NDA has decided to field additional candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections from Karnataka scheduled on February 27. Kupendra Reddy is a former Rajya Sabha member and a close aide of JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi Bengaluru Published on: February 15, 2024 17:43 IST
Kupendra Reddy
Image Source : X/@DKUPENDRAREDDY JDS leader Kupendra Reddy

Rajya Sabha elections: The Rajya Sabha election scenario in Karnataka has intensified as the BJP-JD(S) alliance has nominated an additional candidate for the Upper House of the Parliament, despite having the capacity to secure only one out of the four available seats. The alliance nominated JD(S) leader Kupendra Reddy as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate for the February 27 elections.  

Kupendra Reddy is a former Rajya Sabha member from JDS. He is a close aide of former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. 

Karnataka JD (S) leader HD Kumaraswamy said that the last-minute decision to field an additional candidate was taken after consulting the BJP high command. 

"BJP national president and national leaders and BJP state leaders joined together and ultimately we decided to file the nomination paper as an NDA candidate. JDS-BJP coalition candidate, Kupendra Reddy we selected from both the party. We didn't want to waste the votes for that reason Delhi high command also BJP high command advised us to put a candidate and we decided to file the nomination papers by Kupendra Reddy," he said.

Who are other four candidates?

 The Congress has named GC Chandrashekar, Syed Naseer Hussain and Ajay Maken as its candidates. The BJP has fielded senior party worker Narayanasa Bhandage as its nominee.

There are four vacant seats for the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka. Given the current numerical strength, the Congress is in a position to secure three seats, while the BJP can secure one seat comfortably. The JD(S), with its 19 votes, along with approximately 20 surplus votes from the BJP, is seeking support from four independents to potentially upset the Congress' calculations.

The ruling Congress, whose strength is 135 in the 224-member Assembly, along with the support of Darshan Puttanaiah from Sarvodaya Karnataka Paksha, and two Independents is expected to retain the three seats.

The BJP and JD(S) with 66 and 19 members, respectively, are in a position to together win one seat. According to official sources, each candidate has to get 45 votes to win, if there are only four candidates in the fray, but in the case of more candidates, then preference votes kick in.

Rajya Sabha elections

The Election Commission announced the date for 56 Rajya Sabha seats in 15 states. The elections will take place on February 27 and the votes will be counted on the same day. The term of office of 56 members are due to expire on their retirement in April 2024.

According to the Election Commission's letter, nominations will start from February 8. The last date for nomination for Rajya Sabha elections is February 15. Scrutiny of nomination papers will be held on February 16. The last date for withdrawal of nominations has been kept as February 20. Voting will take place on February 27 between 9 am and 4 pm and counting of votes will take place on the same day at 5 pm.

Number of seats on which elections will be held in the 15 states:

Andhra Pradesh: 3, Bihar: 6, Chhattisgarh: 1, Gujarat: 4, Haryana: 1, Himachal Pradesh: 1, Karnataka: 4, Madhya Pradesh: 5, Maharashtra: 6, Telangana: 3, Uttar Pradesh: 10, Uttarakhand: 1, West Bengal: 5, Odisha: 3, and Rajasthan: 3.

As of the current composition of the Rajya Sabha, there are 238 elected representatives. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) holds the highest number of seats with 93, followed by the Congress party with 30 seats. Other significant parties include the Trinamool Congress (TMC) with 13 seats, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with 10 seats, and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) with 10 seats, among others.

(With agencies input)

Also Read: Rajya Sabha Polls: BJP fields Harsh Mahajan against Congress' Abhishek Manu Singhvi in Himachal

Also Read: Rajya Sabha Election 2024: How many states, and seats are going for polls? Full list of candidates



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