Bengaluru: Amid cross-voting by two Janata Dal (Secular) lawmakers, the BJP on Friday won three out of the four seats in the Rajya Sabha polls in Karnataka while the Congress bagged the fourth seat.
The JD(S) was left behind with embarrassment and loss of face when its lone candidate drew a blank. The JD(S) did not have a chance to win a seat considering the numbers it had, but the cross-voting came as a major setback.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, actor-politician Jaggesh and MLC Lehar Singh Siroya were the BJP candidates who made it to the Rajya Sabha while the fourth seat was bagged by Jairam Ramesh of the Congress.
“BJP’s candidate for RS elections from Karnataka – FM Nirmala Sitharaman, actor-politician Jaggesh and MLC Lehar Singh Siroya have won. They got more votes than the allotted ones, people from the other party helped us,” claimed BJP national general secretary CT Ravi.
MLA K Srinivas Gowda of JD(S) openly said he had cast his vote for the Congress candidate because he loved the party, while MLA S R Srinivas put a blank ballot paper into the box, which was counted as invalid.
A red-faced JD(S) legislature party leader H D Kumaraswamy lashed out at the Congress and the rebel lawmakers saying they subverted democracy. He accused the rebels and Congress of cheating JD(S) workers.
“If he has any shame, Gowda should resign from the party. He won the elections on a JD(S) ticket and with the help of the party workers in Kolar. This is an insult to the party and the workers. People will teach them a lesson in the next elections,” fumed Kumaraswamy.
Meanwhile, BJP and Congress have demanded that Kumaraswamy’s brother and JD(S) MLA H D Revanna’s vote be considered invalid, alleging he showed the ballot paper to state Congress President D K Shivakumar. Revanna, however, refuted the charge, saying, “I have not shown it to Shivakumar, I have shown it to our senior MLA Puttaraju.”
“Let them do whatever they want. Why didn’t they object before me putting the ballot paper into the box? They could have stopped me from putting the paper into the box….Congress and BJP are together against us and making false allegations,” he said.