Bengaluru, March 23 (IANS) Polling was underway on Friday for four Rajya Sabha seats in Karnataka.
“Polling began at 9 a.m., on a steady note in the state legislature building to elect four of the five candidates in the fray for the Upper House seats,” said an election official.
Five candidates, including three from the ruling Congress and one each from the opposition — Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) — are contesting for the four seats.
The Congress candidates are L. Hanumanthaiah, G.C. Chandrasekhar and Syed Naseer Hussain and BJP candidate is Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who is seeking a second term, as his first term as an Independent member ends on April 2.
The election has been necessitated to fill the vacancies arising out of the retirement of incumbent members Basawaraj Patil, Rahman Khan and R. Ramakrishna of the Congress and Chandrasekhar.
In the 225-member state legislative assembly, including one nominated, the Congress has 122 legislators, BJP 48 and JD-S 37. Of all, seven seats are vacant.
As each candidate needs 45 votes to win the contest, the Congress is in a position to get two of its nominees elected easily, while its third candidate with 37 votes, will have to get 13 more votes to make up for the shortfall.
The ruling Congress legislature party met here to plan its strategy to win the third seat.
With Chandrashekar assured of victory by virtue of the BJP having 48 votes, the contest will be for the fourth seat between the Congress and JD-S, whose strength got reduced to 37 after 3 of its members were suspended for revolting against its leadership.
The JD-S also fears cross-voting by some of its members in favour of the ruling party’s (Congress) third nominee.