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Big jolt to BJP as Karnataka MLA cross-votes for Congress in Rajya Sabha polls

Mangalore Today News Network

Bengaluru, Feb 27, 2024: In a surprising turn of events, BJP MLA ST Somashekar from Karnataka on Monday cross-voted in favour of the Congress during the ongoing Rajya Sabha elections for four seats on Tuesday, dealing a significant blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party.


ST Somashekar

BJP Warns Of Strict Action

Confirming the cross-vote, BJP Chief Whip in the state Assembly, Doddanagouda G Patil, expressed concern and announced that the party would thoroughly investigate the matter. He emphasized that strict action would be taken against ST Somashekar for this unexpected move. "It is confirmed that ST Somashekar has cross-voted. We are discussing what can be done and what action to be taken," he said.

Somashekar’s Prior Statements

Before casting his vote, ST Somashekar told reporters, "I will vote in favour of those who assure me and provide confidence that they will allocate funds for water and other management in my constituency."

Candidates In The Fray

Five candidates are contesting for the four seats in the Rajya Sabha elections: Ajay Maken, Syed Naseer Hussain, and G C Chandrasekhar from Congress, Narayansa Bandage from BJP, and Kupendra Reddy from JD(S).

Political Dynamics

In Karnataka, three Congress MPs and one BJP MP are retiring, and the outcome will maintain this balance. With Congress having 135 MLAs and BJP having 66 MLAs, both parties seem confident in securing their respective seats.

Vote Calculation And Scenario

Each Rajya Sabha candidate requires at least 45 votes in the 224-MLA Karnataka Assembly. Congress, with its exact majority, is assured of three seats, while BJP can comfortably secure one. The BJP-JD(S) second candidate, Kupendra Reddy, would need support from three Independents and at least three Congress MLAs to win.

Congress leaders, including Karnataka minister Ramalinga Reddy and MLA Rizwan Arshad, exuded confidence in winning without any cross-voting. Ramalinga Reddy said, ’’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."

On the BJP side, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi expressed optimism, stating, "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..."

Implications For BJP

The cross-vote by ST Somashekar has put the BJP in a challenging position, and the party will need to strategize to mitigate the impact of this unexpected development. This unexpected twist in the Rajya Sabha polls has added a new layer of complexity to the political dynamics in Karnataka, setting the stage for intense deliberations within the BJP and potential shifts in alliances.

Courtesy: Zee News

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