Partners In Government, Congress, JDS Are Rivals In Karnataka Seat

The rest of Karnataka voted on May 12 resulting in a hung assembly - with no party getting a clear majority.

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Karnataka bypolls: Polling in Bengaluru's Rajarajeshwari Nagar was deferred over fake voter ID cards


Bengaluru, Karnataka:  Political coalitions can be tricky at the best of times. And in Karnataka, the voting to the Rajarajeshwari Nagar consituency in Bengaluru today ( May 28) has seen coalition partners, the Janata Dal Secular and the Congress put up candidates who are contesting against each other. 

The rest of Karnataka voted on May 12 resulting in a hung assembly - with no party getting a clear majority. The single largest party, the BJP, attempted to form the government and BS Yeddyurappa was sworn in , but stepped down just two days later ahead of a trust vote once it was clear he did not have the sufficient numbers to survive.

Next it was the turn of the Congress and the JDS who came to power with a post-poll coalition to take charge. So far, only Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) and Deputy Chief Minister, Dr G Parameshwara of the Congress have been sworn in - amidst speculation of conflict between the coalition partners over cabinet portfolios. 

And the fact that both parties put up candidates for Rajarajeshwari Nagar does show a lack of complete understanding between them. The seat was held by the Congress's Muniratna - and the BJP alleged that he was behind a startling discovery of thousands of voter ID cards in a flat in Jalahalli in the city just ahead of voting.  The Congress responded saying it was all a drama and that the flat was owned by BJP supporters. A series of late night press meets followed with the two parties continuing to accuse the other of malpractice and approaching the Election Commission on the issue. The EC decided that Rajarajeshwari Nagar should not vote on the May 12 and postponed the voting to May 28.

The parties could not come to any agreement to field a common candidate for the seat. GH Ramachandra, Janata Dal (Secular) candidate, a former corporator who was earlier with the BJP, told NDTV, " The election was supposed to be held on the 12th. But the corruption of the MLA, the voting cards grabbing ...T shirts, valuables worth 2 crores were found ...Because of all this, the voting was postponed. 

There was no coalition earlier. Since both parties had filed their nomination - And because JDS supporters are not in favour of the candidate Muniratna - that is why we are standing separately."
Congress has fielded the sitting MLA Muniratna while the BJP has fielded Muniraju Gowda.

The extra seat will not make a major difference to the power equation in the state in terms of numbers - the JDS Congress coalition with 117 MLAs is comfortably past the half way mark of 112 for the 123 seats that have voted so far. The BJP, with 104, is well below. But both sides would dearly like to add Rajarajeshwari Nagar to their tally. The BJP to say they have the support of city voters even after their chief minister had to step down - and the coalition to say the voters have responded well to the tie-up. Of course, the separate candidates for the two coalition partners has muddied the waters.

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy travelled to Delhi on Monday to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi travelling abroad, the formation of the cabinet in the state may be further delayed. There will be a total of 34 ministers with 22 posts going to the Congress and 12 to the JDS.


Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections. Election results will be out on May 23.

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