Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) supremo and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda filed his nomination, here on Tuesday, to contest the June 19 Rajya Sabha elections from Karnataka.
“Gowda filed nomination 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.
Gowda’s second son and former Minister H.D. Revanna and third son and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy were present on the occasion.
“We have advised our party leaders and workers not to assemble at the venue in view of the Covid-induced lockdown guidelines and to ensure social distancing,” said the official.
Some members of the Congress were present outside the Secretary’s office to greet Gowda and wish him best for the contest.
Gowda, 87, agreed to contest after the Congress assured him of its surplus votes, as the JD-S with 34 legislators is short of 10 votes to meet the required 44 votes.
“Congress chief Sonia Gandhi called Gowda on Sunday and requested him to contest and assured him of her party’s support,” the official said.
It will be second time Gowda will enter the Rajya Sabha, 24 years after he was its member as the Prime Minister from June 1996 to April 1997 in the United Front government of secular and regional parties.
With 68 lawmakers in the 225-member Assembly, the Congress will have 24 votes to spare after casting 44 ballots for its senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who filed nomination on Monday.
“Gowda will replace our member Kupendra Reddy whose 6-year term in the Upper House ends on June 25. He has not sought re-nomination,” said the official.
With the term of 4 members — two 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 the election on June 19. Votes will be count on the same evening.
The nominations will be scrutinized on Wednesday. The last date for withdrawal is June 12.
From the ruling BJP, its grassroots workers Eranna Kadadi and Ashok Gasti filed nominations after Gowda.
Gowda lost the May 2019 general elections from Tumkur to G.S. Basvaraj of the BJP. His grandson Prajwal Gowda won from the JD-S bastion Hassan, defeating A. Manju of the BJP.
Kharge and Hariprasad lost the May 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Gulabarga (reserved) and Bangalore South seats to the BJP’s Umesh Yadav and Tejasvi Surya.
The BJP, which has 116 legislators and support of 2 Independents, will be able to send its two candidates to the Rajya Sabha and still have 30 surplus votes after using 88 votes for its two contestants.
By fielding Gowda for the fourth seat, the Congress and the JD-S, who are secular allies and had post-poll and pre-poll alliances for the Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections in May 2019 and May 2018, queered the BJP pitch to field another candidate to win a third seat.