Karnataka MLC polls: Congress likely to nominate 4 sitting MLCs, BJP may nominate 2

Polling for the 11 seats of theKarnataka Legislative Council KLC has been slated for 13 June by the Election Commission

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published May 22, 2024 | 10:00 AM Updated May 22, 2024 | 10:00 AM

Karnataka MLC elections

After the culmination of voting for the Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka, all eyes of political parties are now set on the forthcoming biennial election for the 11 seats of the Karnataka Legislative Council (KLC).

Polling for the 11 seats of the KLC has been slated for 13 June by the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the biennial elections are necessitated as the term of 11 sitting MLCs (Members of Legislative Council) will end on 17 June 2024. Meanwhile, elections for six other KLC seats are scheduled to take place on 3 June.

The Members of the Legislative Assembly will elect these 11 legislators for the council.

Among the 75 seats in the KLC, Congress has 30, BJP has 32, JD(S) has seven, while five seats are vacant.

With the ECI declaring elections for 11 MLC seats, the political parties are working full-time to field suitable candidates from their respective parties. Considering the party’s strength in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly (KLA), the ruling Congress will likely field seven nominees, BJP three and JD(S) one for the biennial elections.

In the KLA, Congress has 135 seats, BJP has 67, JD(S) has 19, Sarvodaya Karnataka Paksha has one and an independent also has one.

According to officials of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly: “As MLAs have to vote to elect 11 members for the legislative council, each candidate needs 19 votes for the victory.”

Related: Karnataka Legislative Council polls: BJP racing against time to pacify rebel leaders

Congress likely to field four sitting MLCs

With sufficient numbers to win at least seven out of eleven seats in KLC elections, Congress is likely to field four sitting MLCs and three new faces.

Minister for Science and Technology NS Boseraju, leader of the legislative council, Chief Minister’s Political Secretary K Govindraj, MLCs Aravind Kumar Arali and K Harish Kumar’s term in the legislative council will end on 17 June.

A senior Congress MLC, who didn’t want to be named, told SouthFirst: “The party is yet to hold a detailed meeting on finalising the candidates for these 11 seats as the leaders are busy with the 3 June MLC polls for six seats.”

“The party is all likely to give tickets to four sitting MLCs whose term is ending next month. For the remaining three seats, there are about 100 aspirants who have approached the Congress high command. The party will likely prioritise senior leaders for the remaining three seats,” said the MLC.

“CM Siddaramaiah, Deputy CM DK Shivakumar and AICC General Secretary and Karnataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala will hold talks with the AICC chief Mallikarjun Kharge in a week and finalise candidates for the remaining three seats,” detailed the Congress lawmaker.

Meanwhile, former BJP leaders Dr Tejaswini Gowda and KP Nanjundi Vishwakarma resigned their MLC posts and pledged their allegiance to the Congress just before the 2024 parliament elections. These two leaders are also said to be aspirants for the MLC tickets.

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BJP to contest in three seats, likely to field two incumbent MLCs

In the current political scenario, the BJP has to give up its three seats to the Congress in the legislative council elections as it does not have enough people in the house to retain all the six incumbent seats.

BJP’s former General Secretary N Ravikumar, Muniraju Gowda, Raghunath Rao Malkapure and S Rudregowda are the incumbent MLCs whose term will end on 17 June.

Dr Tejaswini Gowda and KP Nanjundi were the other two MLCs of the BJP until recently.

Choosing to be anonymous, a senior BJP MLC told SouthFirst: “The party is currently eyeing the MLC election being held for six seats on 3 June. The polls have been announced for 11 seats but we will be fielding candidates only in four seats as we don’t have enough numbers to field more candidates.”

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“The party has also decided that three seats will be contested by the BJP and one by JD(S), the alliance partner. Incumbent MLCs N Ravikumar and Muniraju Gowda are likely to be given tickets and a new face might get the remaining one seat,” added the BJP MLC.

He said that the party high command is likely to announce nominees for the three seats in the last week of May or 1 June.

Meanwhile, JD(S) incumbent MLC BM Farooq’s term will end on 17 June. He is the lone sitting JD(S) legislator of these 11 seats.

On anonymity, JD(S) former minister told SouthFirst: “The party has not yet decided about the candidature for the MLC election. We have exactly 19 MLAs in the assembly. We can win one seat with ease. The high command is occupied with other issues, it might take a call in the coming week.”

Also Read: Karnataka Legislative Council polls: BJP racing against time to pacify rebel leaders

(Edited by Neena)