BJP springs a surprise at alliance partner JD(S) by nominating its candidates for five of six Council seats

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This came hours after Yediyurappa announced that the BJP and JD(S) will contest four and two seats, respectively Hours after the former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa announced in Mysuru that the NDA partners BJP and Janata Dal (Secular) will contest four and two seats, respectively, in the upcoming Legislative Council elections for six seats, the BJP sprung a surprise by naming its candidate to one of the two seats that was to be left for the regional party.

The fresh development between the alliance partner comes amid the sexual abuse case, allegedly involving Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna, casting its shadow on the alliance.

While JD(S) sources said that in all earlier discussions, it had been decided that the regional party would be allowed to contest in Karnataka South-west Teachers’ and Karnataka South Teachers’ constituencies that the party held, the BJP on Saturday evening announced E.C.

Ningaraju as its candidate from South Teachers’ constituency. Hours earlier, Mr. Yediyurappa had said that the constituencies were yet to be finalised in the seat-sharing arrangement.
The JD(S) was preparing to field its former MLC K.T. Srikante Gowda (who had earlier represented South Graduates’ constituency) in the South Teachers’ constituency.

“The talks on seat sharing had been done during the finalisation of the candidate for the Bangalore Teachers’ constituency byelection earlier this year,” said a source. He added that it had renominated S.L. Bhoje Gowda in the South-west Teachers’ constituency.
Expressing surprise at the BJP’s decision to field its candidate in a constituency held by the JD(S), party sources said the BJP could be under pressure from within to field its candidate.

“However, we are going to raise the issue and we are confident that the seat will be ultimately left to us.” Incidentally, Congress candidate in the South Teachers’ constituency Marithibbe Gowda had won on the JD(S) ticket four times. He had distanced himself from the party for over a year and joined the Congress in March 2024.The biennial elections to the State Legislative Council are scheduled to be held on June 3 and the last date for filing nomination is May 16. The six constituencies going to polls are Karnataka North-east Graduates’, Karnataka South-west Graduates’, Bangalore Graduates’, Karnataka South-east Teachers’, Karnataka South-west Teachers’, and Karnataka South Teachers’ constituencies.
This will be the second major electoral test for the alliance after the Lok Sabha elections where BJP and JD(S) contested 25 and three seats, respectively. In the first polls post the alliance, the NDA had lost in Bangalore Teachers’ seat when the JD(S) nominee was defeated by the Congress candidate P. Puttanna in February 2024Earlier in the day, Mr. Yediyurappa told reporters in Mysuru that the BJP-JD(S) alliance in the State would continue in the Legislative Council polls and a decision had been taken for the BJP to contest in four seats, leaving the remaining two for the JD(S). “The BJP-JD(S) alliance will not be disturbed for any reason. The alliance will continue,” he said.Mr. Yediyurappa’s statement assumed significance in the light of JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy having left the decision on the continuation of the alliance to BJP central leaders after the alleged sexual abuse case broke out.

The Legislative Council election is being keenly watched as the composition of the 75-member Upper House, where the BJP-JD(S) commands a majority, could change if the Congress performs well in the polls. While the NDA has 39 members — 32 of the BJP and seven of the JD(S), the Congress has 29 members besides an Independent and the Chairman.

Five seats, including three to be elected from the Legislative Assembly, and two going for elections on June 3, are vacant. Of the six going for polls, BJP and JD(S) had won three and two seats, respectively, while the Congress had won one seat in the 2018 polls NDTV reported.

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