Congress, JD-S set to join hands for Karnataka council polls
Bangalore: The Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) are set to jointly take on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the crucial December 18 legislative council biennial poll which will determine who controls the upper house of the Karnataka legislature.
Congress and JD-S leaders have been discussing seat sharing in New Delhi for nearly a week now and the details are expected to be announced Monday as Tuesday is the last day for filing nomination papers.
JD-S state president and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy met union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, also the Congress in-charge of Karnataka, to work out the details of the tie-up.
Kumaraswamy told reporters in New Delhi late Saturday that an accord has been reached on the number of seats each party will contest, though for one or two seats "there might be friendly fight" between the two parties.
Elections will take place for 25 seats of the 75-member House. Of the 25 seats, 19 were with the Congress, four with the BJP, one with the JD-S and one is vacant.
At present both the Congress and the BJP have equal strength with 28 members each in the house. The JD-S has 12 members.
Hence is has become vital for Congress to win all the seats it will contest and also hope for good show by alliance partner the JD-S to ensure that BJP does not wrest control of the council.
The counting of votes will take place December 21.
The BJP has finalised candidates for all the seats and the names would be announced in New Delhi Monday.
"The list has been sent to our central leaders who will release it Monday," Karnataka BJP president DV Sadananda Gowda told reporters Sunday in Udupi, about 420 km from here.
Only members of local elected bodies - gram panchayats to zilla panchayats - and legislators and MPs form the electoral college to choose the 25 members.
Of council`s 75 members, 25 each are elected by legislative Assembly members and local authorities, seven each by graduates and teachers. Eleven are nominated. Under the statutory provisions, a third of the council members are retired every two years and elections to the vacant seats are biennially held.
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