Kumaraswamy making offers for RS elections, threatening MLAs to buy votes, alleges Shivakumar

05:11 PM Feb 19, 2024 | PTI |

Bengaluru: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar on Monday claimed he has ‘information’ that JD (S) leader H D Kumaraswamy was making offers to Congress MLAs to buy their votes for the February 27 Rajya Sabha elections in the state.


The Rajya Sabha election scene in Karnataka has heated up with the BJP-JD(S) combine fielding its second candidate, even though the alliance has the strength to win only one out of the four seats which go to polls.

Speaking to reporters here, Shivakumar, also the Congress Karnataka unit chief, said: “We know whom H D Kumaraswamy is making phone calls to, what he is speaking and what offers he is making. Our MLAs have given us all the information. We are aware of BJP’s strategy.”

Asked if the Opposition parties are trying for cross voting, he said, “Have they (BJP) fielded the candidate without any reason? They fielded the candidate to make their efforts. Let us see who votes for whom on February 27 (the voting day).”

”He (Kumaraswamy) has spoken, made offers (to Congress MLAs), they (MLAs) came and told me. He had threatened them. I am aware of it. I will not speak on it now,” Shivakumar said.


JD(S) headed by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda joined the BJP-led NDA last year.

The ruling Congress, which has 135 MLAs in the 224 member Assembly, with the support of Darshan Puttanaiah from Sarvodaya Karnataka Paksha and two Independents is expected to retain three seats out of the four RS seats. The BJP and JD(S) with 66 and 19 members, respectively, are in a position to jointly win one seat in the elections, in which MLAs will vote.

The Congress has fielded Ajay Maken, Syed Naseer Hussain and G C Chandrasekhar. Former MLC Narayansa Bandage is the BJP candidate.

In a surprise move, JD(S) leader and former Rajya Sabha Member D Kupendra Reddy too filed a nomination last week, forcing a contest. According to official sources, each candidate has to get 45 votes to win if there are only four candidates in the fray. In case there are more candidates, then preference votes will kick in.

Asked if Congress was working on a counter strategy to secure opposition votes for elections, Shivakumar said, “We don’t need it. We have won 136 seats (in the assembly) and two Independent MLAs have identified themselves with us. I will not talk about others who are with us. We will demonstrate it and then we will talk.”


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