Congress candidates Ajay Maken, Naseer Hussain and GC Chandrashekar emerged victorious after securing 47, 46 and 46 votes, respectively. Pic/News18

Congress candidates Ajay Maken, Naseer Hussain and GC Chandrashekar emerged victorious after securing 47, 46 and 46 votes, respectively. Pic/News18

Bharatiya Janata Social gathering MLA ST Somashekar cross-voted in favour of senior Congress chief Ajay Maken on Tuesday, whereas BJP legislator Shivaram Hebbar abstained from voting in violation of the social gathering whip

Conscience appears to be the buzzword throughout the Rajya Sabha elections in Karnataka with three social gathering legislators claiming they voted primarily based on that ethical sense. It’s with this very feeling that Bharatiya Janata Social gathering MLA ST Somashekar cross-voted in favour of senior Congress chief Ajay Maken on Tuesday.

One other BJP MLA, Shivaram Hebbar, abstained from voting in violation of the social gathering whip.

The ultimate tally of the competition in Karnataka the place 5 candidates had been within the fray was Congress’s Maken getting 47 votes, Syed Naseer Hussain bagging 47 votes with mining baron and Gangawati MLA Gali Janardhana Reddy additionally voting in his favour, and GC Chandrashekhar getting 45 votes. BJP’s Narayana Krishnasa Bhandage received 48 votes in his favour whereas Janata Dal (Secular) candidate Kupendra Reddy acquired 37 votes.

“I don’t know something about cross-voting. I’ve not seen how the others have voted. You could ask the BJP. It’s they who spoke about conscience votes,” Somashekar stated when requested about his vote.

Taking a jibe on the BJP, Karnataka deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar stated that the saffron social gathering and JD(S) that had been speaking about being conscience vote seekers “have change into conscience vote givers”.

“The BJP might have transferred votes in extra of 45 to the JD(S) candidate but it surely has shortchanged the JD(S) by retaining 48 votes for its candidate,” Shivakumar informed the media.

BJP MLA from Bengaluru’s Yeshvanthapura constituency Somashekar, who considers Shivakumar his political guru, has been ready within the wings to affix the Congress since July final yr. He was amongst those that jumped ship from the Congress throughout the alleged Operation Kamala (lotus) carried out in 2019 by the BJP. 17 Congress and JD(S) legislators switched to the BJP, toppling the coalition authorities of the 2 events.

Somashekar has been upset with the BJP, has made a number of rebellious statements towards the social gathering, and has abstained from attending social gathering conferences since July 2023. The BJP termed his choice to cross-vote “political suicide”.

Somashekar met chief minister Siddaramaiah in August 2023 at his residence, which brought on a buzz of Operation Hasta (hand) of the Congress coming into play.

The MLA dismissed rumours of his shifting to the Congress saying the assembly was to debate the “improvement of his constituency”, which included a maternity hospital at Sir M Vishweshwaraiah Format on a civic amenity plot and a flyover for Kengeri Satellite tv for pc City.

In October final yr, Somashekar expressed his displeasure over the BJP forming an alliance with the Janata Dal (Secular). He additionally hinted at quitting the BJP in protest.

“I’ve been competing with the JD(S) for 20 years…I used to be additionally witness to how the Congress-JD(S) authorities functioned. A lot of our employees had been unable to work together with the JD(S) employees. My supporters have been harassed by the JD(S) and I’ve been an in depth witness to psychological harassment as nicely,” Somshekhar had stated to News18 when he was requested about quitting the BJP in October.

Shivakumar when quizzed concerning Somashekar’s transfer stated that he solid his vote as per his conscience. “It’s a vote towards the unholy BJP-JD(S) alliance. Most of the people, graduates, and lecturers have rejected the alliance,” the deputy CM stated.

In Karnataka’s, 223-member meeting, the Congress has 134 MLAs, with the passing away of Raja Venkatappa Naik two days in the past, whereas the BJP has 66, and JD(S) 19. Three unbiased members voted for the Congress.

HD Kumaraswamy, although, complimented all 19 JD(S) MLAs who voted for the social gathering. “It’s a befitting reply to the Congress which had claimed that it will get 12-13 votes from our social gathering,” he added. “We had fielded our candidate to check our energy.”

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