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Business News/ Politics / Policy/  No decision on disqualification of JD(S) MLAs
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No decision on disqualification of JD(S) MLAs

The JD(S), led by former PM Deve Gowda, had sought disqualification of seven of its members for violating the party whip and for voting against the party's candidate, B.M.Farooq, in the 2016 Rajya Sabha elections

JD(S) chief and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda. Photo: Hemant Mishra/MintPremium
JD(S) chief and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Bengaluru: K.B. Koliwad, the Karnataka Legislative Assembly speaker, on Monday reserved his order on the disqualification of seven Janata Dal (Secular) legislators, days before the 23 March Rajya Sabha elections.

The JD(S), led by former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda, had sought the disqualification of seven of its members two years ago for violating the party whip and for voting against the party’s candidate, B.M.Farooq, in the 2016 Rajya Sabha elections.

The party, which has fielded Farooq again, is trying to keep the seven legislators from voting against its candidate in favour of the Congress party. The Congress has declined to support the JD(S) candidate.

The Congress is trying to send at least three candidates to the upper House from Karnataka after the terms of four members of Parliament—K. Rahman Khan (Congress), Basavaraj Patil Sedam and Ramakrishna R. (BJP), and Rajeev Chandrasekhar (independent)—ended on 2 April.

The Congress has nominated L. Hanumanthaiah, Syed Naseer Hussain and G.C. Chandrasekhar from Karnataka in what seems to be a carefully planned caste and religion balancing strategy.

Hanumanthaiah is a Dalit leader and former chairman of the Kannada Development Authority, while Chandrashekhar is from the dominant Vokkaliga community and Hussain is a Muslim.

All seven rebels of the JD(S) are expected to formally join the Congress on 25 March, when the party’s national president will be touring the southern part of the state as part of his 2018 election campaign.

By keeping the rebels out, JD(S) was hoping to get its own nominee selected.

According to the Karnataka legislature, JD(S) has 37 members (including the seven rebels) in the 224-seat lower House. The Congress has 122 and the BJP 43.

Each Rajya Sabha candidate requires 44 votes. With 122 seats, the Congress can comfortably send two candidates to the upper House of Parliament and has to depend on a few votes from other party members to send the third.

The BJP, which has fielded businessman Rajeev Chandrasekhar, has the required numbers to get him elected as it enjoys the support a few independent members.

Heading into Lok Sabha elections, due next year, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance has taken several strategic decisions to gain a majority in the upper House of Parliament to help the smooth passage of key legislation before the polls.

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Published: 20 Mar 2018, 01:10 AM IST
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