Between the Congress (S) and JD (S), who won in the Rajaya Sabha elections held in Karnataka? Of course, we are not discussing here the three seats won by the ruling BJP or the one seat won by the Congress. The BJP has won the fourth seat that both the Congress and the JD (S) had targeted. So whose strategies went right or wrong? The decisions taken by the two opposition parties have made the BJP’s Lahar Singh Siroya become an RS member.
The Congress failed to get its second candidate, Mansoor Ali Khan, son of the former Union Minister K Rahman Khan, elected. Similarly, the JD (S) failed to get its lone candidate—superrich Kupendra Reddy—to sail through. There was no open or hidden understanding between the two parties. Both presumed that the other was obligated to support them because the common enemy is the BJP.
The JD (S) has been taunting Siddaramaiah that he has been finishing the political careers of many Muslim leaders. Siddaramaiah fielded a Muslim candidate and asked the JD(S) to support him as a tit for tat. The JD (S) said that Congress had fielded the candidate without even holding talks in this regard. Many are now saying Siddaramaiah succeeded in his mission – to make his party sure to maintain a distance from the JD (S) in the elections to come. But was this what his party’s leaders, including D K Shivakumar and Mallikarjun Kharge, wanted?Did they want to close the party’s door to an alliance with the JD (S) in the 2023 Assembly elections? They probably would have preferred to keep JD (S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda in good humor.
For the JD (S), more than the results, it is the two open rebellion MLAs who have been humiliated. Kolar MLA K Sreenivas Gowda openly said he loved the Congress and voted for it. Gubbi MLA S R Srinivas has raised doubts as to whether he has violated the party whip by preferring the Congress or the BJP. By this time, JD (S) polling agent H D Revanna should have clarified in this regard. Because this was an open ballot election where the voters (MLAs) had to show their ballot paper before dropping it in the box. The Gubbi MLA has said that Revanna had seen his ballot paper. There were media reports saying Srinivas concealed his choice on the ballot paper while displaying it to Revanna. If Revanna had seen the paper clearly, then by this time he should have responded to the allegations. But so far, no show-cause notice has been given to the MLAs who violated the whip. The BJP has claimed that it got two votes more than expected. If this is true, who helped the BJP?
In this drama of elections, no doubt the BJP sailed through without much effort, thanks to the warring Opposition parties. The confusion, chaos, or choices that the elections saw may not set a trend for the next assembly equations. Because nothing is permanent, including the equations among political parties and politicians. Many politicians will be party hopping before the next election in April. For the JD (S), unlike for the Congress, the BJP may not remain ‘untouchable’ either.
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