Bengaluru: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) grassroots workers Eranna Kadadi and Ashok Gasti filed nominations, here on Tuesday, to contest the June 19 Rajya Sabha elections in Karnataka.
“Kadadi and Gasti filed the papers at the Vidhana Soudha by submitting them to Returning Officer M.K. Vishalakshi,” a party official told IANS. Vishalakshi is the Karnataka Assembly Secretary.
Chief Minister B.S. Yediyiurappa, Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi, Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarikholi and state BJP chief Nalin Kumar Kateel were present on the occasion.
Kadadi, 50, hails from Gokak in the northwest Belagavi district. He is a leader of the politically dominant Lingayat community, the ruling party’s vote bank and to which Yediyurappa too belongs.
Kadadi, Belagavi district zilla parishad president, runs a cooperative bank at Gokak , about 540 km from here. Savadi and Jarkiholi too hail from the Belagavi region.
Gasti, 55, an advocate, is from the barber community and belongs to the Raichur district in the state’s northern region, about 490 km away from here.
“Gasti is the party’s former Raichur district zilla parishad president. Kadadi and Gasti are the party’s grassroots members,” said the official.
The party’s high command didn’t consider the 3 names the state core committee shortlisted on Saturday, including outgoing member Prabhakar Kore.
As per the procedure, the core committee recommended Kore, former Lok Sabha member Ramesh Katti and Prakash Shetty, a city hotelier, for contesting 2-3 Rajya Sabha seats from a list of candidates, including the party’s general secretary and its state’s in-charge P. Muralidhar Rao.
With 116 legislators and support of 2 Independents, election of Kadadi and Kasti will be smooth as they require 44 votes each to win the contest.
In fact, the BJP will be left with 30 surplus votes, but 14 short of ensuring the victory of third candidate.
With the term of 4 members — 2 from the Congress (B.K. Hariprasad and Rajeev Gowda) and one each from the BJP (Prabhakar Kore) and the JD-S (Kupendra Reddy) ending on June 25, the Election Commission on June 1 notified election to be conducted on June 19, with June 9 as the last date of filing nominations.
The nominations will be scrutinized on Wednesday and last date for withdrawal is June 12. Votes will be counted is on June 19.
JD-S supremo H.D. Deve Gowda filed his nomination in the afternoon for the fourth seat in place of Reddy on support from the Congress.
“We have no objection to Gowda entering the Rajya Sabha as he is a former Prime Minister and one of the tallest political leaders in the southern state. We wish him well,” said the BJP spokesman.
Gowda, 87, lost the May 2019 elections from Tumkur to G.S. Basvaraj of the BJP, though his grandson Prajwal Gowda won from the JD-S bastion Hassan, defeating A. Manju of the BJP.
With 68 lawmakers, the Congress has fielded its veteran leader Mallikarjun Kharge to contest the Rajya Sabha polls. Kharge filed papers on Monday.
After ensuring Kharge’s victory with 44 votes, the Congress will have 24 surplus votes. As the JD-S has 34 MLAs, Gowda will need votes of 10 Congress MLAs to win.
In a related development, Sangmesh Chikkanargund also filed his papers to contest as an Independent. He needs letters of support from minimum 10 legislators for acceptance of his nomination during the scrutiny on Wednesday.