Bangalore: One of the big winners on Thursday in the Rajya Sabha elections was liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who contested as an Independent and was backed by the JD(S) and the BJP, but it was not all easy going for the King of Good Times.
Commenting on his victory Vijay Mallya said, "I am obviously very happy. I am privileged to serve my home state again. I served the state with best interests at heart during my last term. I actually published a book on the questions I raised in Parliament and circulated the book to MLAs. I believe in accountability. People have reposed their faith in me."
Anything is possible in politics. And that includes two parties -- JD(S) and the BJP-- putting aside their bitter coalition history to assure Mallya of good times ahead, by both supporting his candidature to the Rajya Sabha.
"Mallya is not a JD(S) candidate, he is an Independent candidate. We want Congress candidate to be defeated," said Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa on Mallya's candidature.
The state BJP is clearly putting a brave front on things after carrying out the directive of their central command despite the resistance of many in the state unit. But Mallya said he did not care why the votes came to him -- just that they did.
"At the end of the day I think it is wrong to make a big political issue out of who joined hands with whom, because I am an Independent," said Mallya.
When asked that the victory is more of an anti-Congress vote than a pro-Mallya vote, he said, "Is media supposed to adjudicate of where I get my votes from. Do you run the Parliament of India?"
The BJP's Venkaiah Naidu and Ayanur Manjunath also made it to the Upper House easily. As did Congress veteran Oscar Fernandes.
The biggest point of interest in the Rajya Sabha elections in Karnataka was the candidature of the flamboyant Vijay Mallya. As an Independent candidate, he managed to get the backing of both the JD(S) and the BJP, making them unlikely partners in getting him into the Rajya Sabha.