JDS Moves All 32 MLAs To Hotel Out Of Fear Of “Cross-Voting”; Hands Out A Whip

Just before the Rajya Sabha elections, resort politics has made its way to Karnataka. The Janata Dal (Secular) has moved all of its 32 MLAs to a 5-star hotel in Bengaluru, following the lead of ‘resort politics’ in Maharashtra and Rajasthan ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections. This comes at a time when the race for the state’s fourth and final seat appears to be tight. While the JD(S) continues to seek Congress’ support in order to ensure its candidate’s victory, the Congress is counting on all 32 votes cast by JD(S) MLAs.

However, the Janata Dal has moved its MLAs who will also attend the party’s legislative meeting scheduled in the same hotel, fearing ‘poaching’ and ‘cross voting’ in favour of the BJP. Meanwhile, according to the latest reports, the MLAs have been issued with a whip.

In the midst of ongoing talks between the Congress and the JD(S), Karnataka JD(S) chief HD Kumaraswamy spoke with Congress general secretary in charge of Karnataka Randeep Surjewala on Wednesday, reiterating his offer to exchange second preference votes and thus aid in defeating the BJP.

In the Rajya Sabha election, Congress is seeking support from the JD(S). D.K. Shivakumar, the president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, said on Wednesday that the JD(S) did not discuss support for its candidate with the Congress until he had fielded his own candidate. However, it is now debating whether or not to support Congress.

On the other hand, JD(S) chief Kumaraswamy stated his position earlier on Tuesday, saying that his main goal is to defeat the BJP in the fourth seat. He went on to say that his party’s candidate would win even if they received 22-second preferential votes. He also mentioned his conversation with Congress General Secretary in charge of Karnataka Randeep Singh Surjewala, saying that the JD(S) is willing to transfer its 32-second preference votes to Congress in exchange for their (Congress) 24-second preference votes.

In particular, six candidates are running for the fourth Rajya Sabha seat in Karnataka, which has resulted in a tight race. The BJP, Congress, and JD(S), three of the state’s three political parties, have all fielded candidates for the seat.