Rajya Sabha polls: Karnataka BJP MLA cross-votes for Congress

The party will look into the matter and strict action will be taken against the BJP MLA, BJP Chief Whip in Karnataka Assembly said.

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File photo: ST Somashekar

In a major setback to the Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka, party MLA ST Somashekar has cross-voted in the ongoing Rajya Sabha elections which are being conducted for four seats on Tuesday, BJP Chief Whip in the state Assembly, Doddanagouda G. Patil said. ST Somashekar voted in the favour of Congress party on Tuesday.

BJP Chief Whip in Karnataka Assembly, Doddanagouda G. Patil while speaking about the matter, said that the party will look into the matter and strict action will be taken against the BJP MLA. "It is confirmed that ST Somashekar has cross-voted. We are discussing what can be done and what action to be taken," he said.

Before casting his vote, ST Somashekar, while speaking to the reporters here said, "I will vote in favour of them who assures me and gives confidence that they will give funds for the water and other management in my constituency." Five candidates -- Ajay Maken, Syed Naseer Hussain and G C Chandrasekhar (all Congress), Narayansa Bandage (BJP) and Kupendra Reddy (JD(S)) -- are in the fray.
In Karnataka, three MPs from the Congress and one from the BJP are retiring and the outcome after the elections will be the same. As numbers stand in the Karnataka Assembly, the Congress is assured of three seats, and the BJP of one.

Each Rajya Sabha candidate needs at least 45 votes in the 224-MLA Karnataka Assembly to win a Rajya Sabha seat from the state. The Congress with 135 MLAs has the exact number to elect its three candidates, Ajay Maken, Nasir Hussain and G C Chandrashekhar while the

BJP has 66 MLAs, which means it can easily get its main candidate, party worker Narayansa Bhandage, elected. Combined with the 19 JD(S) MLAs, the BJP-JDs second candidate Kupendra Reddy will need to get support of three Independents and get at least three Congress MLAs to cross-vote if he wants to win. Meanwhile, both- Congress and the BJP have exuded confidence in their candidates winning the elections.

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Congress leader and Karnataka minister Ramalinga Reddy said that his party will win the elections as it has a clear majority in the state assembly. "All our three candidates will by clear majority. There will be no cross-voting. 3 Congress and 1 BJP candidate will be there. We have a clear majority. I don't know what Janardhana Reddy will do, he might support Congress," he said.

Karnataka Congress MLA Rizwan Arshad said that his party's candidates will get votes more than required. "There will be no cross-voting. Congress candidates will get more votes than required. If people from some other party want to vote for us, then we won't say no to it," he added. Union Minister and BJP leader Pralhad Joshi said, "We are very confident and hopeful. At this moment, I can only say that we are optimistic and confident. Whatever is needed, will be done..."

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DNA staff and is published from ANI)

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