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Voting underway for four RS seats in Karnataka

The Congress has 133 MLAs, the BJP has 66, JD (S) 19, while others account for four.

Voting underway for four RS seats in Karnataka

Representative image

BENGALURU: Voting for the four Rajya Sabha seats are underway in Karnataka on Tuesday.

The Congress has 133 MLAs, the BJP has 66, JD (S) 19, while others account for four.

Of the four others, the Congress claims the support of two independents and Darshan Puttanaiah from Sarvodaya Karnataka Paksha, and is confident of winning three seats. Interestingly, the fourth one - G Janardhana Reddy (of Kalyana Rajya Pragathi Paksha) met the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday.

The MLAs will exercise their voting rights using an open ballot system. The voting started at 9 am and will go on till 4 pm. The counting will start from 5 pm.

These MLAs have to display their voting preference to the nominated polling agents.

The Rajya Sabha seats fell vacant following the retirement of four members - Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar from the BJP and G C Chandrashekhar, Syed Naseer Hussain and L Hanumanthaiah from the Congress. The Congress, which is confident of winning three seats has fielded G C Chandrashekhar, Naseer Hussain and former union minister Ajay Maken.

The BJP has fielded Narayansa Bhandage as also JD(S) candidate D Kupendra Reddy as the NDA candidate which has made the election interesting.

Congress sources claimed that the party has the support of four others.

''Besides, we may get three votes from the rival camp,'' a top Congress source told PTI.

Fearing cross-voting, the Congress and the BJP-JD(S) alliance huddled their MLAs in a private resort on Monday. They also conducted a workshop for the new members to inform them about the election process and how to cast their votes.

All parties have issued whips to the MLAs, who are the voters in Tuesday's poll, amid apprehensions of cross-voting.

According to official sources, each candidate has to get 45 votes to win, if there are only four candidates in the fray, but in the case of more candidates, the preference votes kick in.

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