Last day for filing nominations for the Rajya Sabha seats for which elections will be held on June 11. (File Photo)
Today is the last day for filing nominations for the Rajya Sabha seats for which elections will be held on June 11. In Karnataka, as always, the main parties are hoping to push their candidates through - sometimes with a little help from independents or even members of another party.
The Janata Dal (Secular) held a meeting in a private resort last week to choose their candidate - but announced the name only days later. It will be real-estate developer, BM Farook who will contest for the party.
"JDS wanted to field a Kannadiga candidate and the future is for regional parties now. I am a close associate of Kumaraswamy and HD Deve Gowda," Mr Farook told NDTV.
But this choice has not been universally popular within the party and five JD(S) MLAs have already pledged their allegiance to the Congress. When asked about this, party chief and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said, "One or two MLAs have openly admitted they are going to vote for Congress. That is secondary. I am requesting all the party MLAs to take their own decision." When asked if there was a possibility of money changing hands to buy votes, he replied, "You put this question to Congress people, not to me."
The Congress has fielded Jairam Ramesh and Oscar Fernandes, but is hoping to get a third Rajya Sabha MP from the state with a little help from friends even from other parties. Power Minister in the ruling Congress government, DK Shivakumar told NDTV, "Out of 16, 14 Independent candidates have promised support to us. (For JDS MLAs) It depends on them what they decide to do. Kumaraswamy also, tried poaching in the Congress Party."
For the BJP, Venkaiah Naidu will not be contesting from Karnataka this time - Nirmala Sitharaman will take that place and is guaranteed victory with the BJP having enough MLAs to see her through.
There have been allegations that money plays a large part in these elections - and with 11 days to go for the voting, there is plenty of speculation as to whether money is exchanging hands in return for support.
One man who was, until recently, a Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka has certainly faced his share of controversy - a certain Vijay Mallya.