JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda on Tuesday filed his nomination as the party’s candidate for the June 19 Rajya Sabha elections from Karnataka. The former Prime Minister was accompanied by his sons, former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and former Minister H D Revanna, state JD(S) chief H K Kumaraswamy and others, as he filed his papers at the office of the Legislative Assembly Secretary M K Vishalakshi, who is the returning officer for the polls.
JD(S) on Monday had announced that Gowda will be contesting the Rajya Sabha polls.
Announcing the decision, Kumaraswamy had said that Gowda decided to contest following the request of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, several national leaders and party legislators, and it was not an easy task to “persuade” him to enter the Rajya Sabha.
Speaking to reporters after filing his nomination, Gowda thanked the Congress’ central leadership and leaders of several like-minded political parties who wanted him to contest and said he would continue to work for strengthening secular forces at the national level.
Detailing the events that led to his filing of nomination, he said Kumaraswamy informed AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal “about the JD(S) legislature party’s decision to field me, who in turn wanted me to talk to Sonia Gandhi directly.”
He said he spoke to her on Sunday and told her that conceding to pressure from his party and respecting her feelings, he would file his papers on June 9.
“She expressed happiness and promised full support,” he said, adding that the Left parties, Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference and several other friends too wanted him to contest.
Kumaraswamy, speaking to reporters, said Gowda agreed to file his nomination after Sonia Gandhi on Sunday advised him to do so.
Also, several national leaders had insisted that he come to the Rajya Sabha, “considering the given situation in the country.”
To a question on whether he had spoken to any state Congress leaders, Kumaraswamy said he had not yet done so as the developments had taken place at the behest of the Congress national president.
“I thank everyone in the Congress for the support extended, following the instructions from Delhi,” he said.
The Congress and JD(S) that ran a coalition government under the leadership of Kumaraswamy had parted ways due to internal bickering and the rout in the Lok Sabha polls, which they faced in alliance.
The JD(S), which has 34 seats in the assembly, is not in a position to win a seat in the Rajya Sabha on its own and will need the support from Congress with its surplus votes.
A minimum of 45 votes are required for a candidate to win.
If he wins, this will be the second Rajya Sabha entry for 87-year-old Gowda, the first time being in 1996 as the Prime Minister.
Gowda was defeated in Tumkur constituency by BJP’s G S Basavaraj by over 13,000 votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
As joint candidate of the then ruling Congress-JDS coalition, Gowda had chosen to contest from Tumkur at the last minute after vacating Hassan-his home turf, to grandson Prajwal Revanna (a current MP).
Election is scheduled on June 19 to fill four Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka, represented by Rajeev Gowda and B K Hariprasad of the Congress, Prabhakar Kore of the BJP and D Kupendra Reddy of JD(S) that will fall vacant on June 25, with their retirement.
Today is the last date for filing nominations. With BJP not fielding any candidate against Gowda, his election is likely to be unanimous.