Rajya Sabha polls: Congress issues whip, won’t withdraw second candidate

The Karnataka Congress has sent a whip to all its lawmakers asking them to vote for the party’s candidates in the June 10 Rajya Sabha elections.

With this, the Congress has shown its determination to move forward with its General Secretary Mansoor Ali Khan as the party’s second candidate, even though he has numbers to win one for sure.

Chief Opposition Whip Ajay Dharam Singh has asked all Congress MPs to vote for the party’s candidates in the Rajya Sabha election to be held in Room 106 at Vidhana Soudha between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. June 10.

Of the four seats in the Rajya Sabha of Karnataka that go to the polls, the BJP can win two, the Congress one and the JD(S) none. A candidate will need 45 votes to win.

All three parties fielded a candidate for the fourth seat despite the lack of votes – Lahar Singh Siroya (BJP), Mansoor Ali Khan (Congress) and Kupendra Reddy (JDS).

Friday is the last day to withdraw applications.

The JD(S) and Congress have tried to play the secular card against each other: the regional party wants Khan out of the fray while Congress wants Reddy out of the competition.

“Why should we withdraw our candidate? We fielded him because we want to win,” Congress Legislative Party leader Siddaramaiah said.

When pointed out that Congress did not have enough numbers to win Khan, Siddaramaiah said, “Do the BJP and JD(S) have the numbers? We have our votes intact, including 71 second preference votes.

Siddaramaiah said Congress expects lawmakers to vote conscientiously. “I can’t tell you now who will vote for us,” he said, hinting at the possibility of a cross-vote.