ANI Photo | Congress Karnataka MLAs arrive at Vidhana Soudha to cast their vote in Rajya Sabha elections

Karnataka Congress legislators who were put up at a private hotel in Bengaluru amid fears of cross-voting for the Rajya Sabha polls for four seats reached Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru to cast their vote.
This move to put the MLAs in hotel ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls was apparently aimed at ensuring their unity. The MLAs travelled together by bus to vote.
Taking a jibe at the Congress move, Karnataka Deputy LoP and BJP leader Arvind Bellad said that the ruling party of the state is doubtful of their votes.
“We are confident of our votes, they (Congress) are doubtful of their votes and that is why they have kept their leaders in a resort…” Bellad said.
Speaking about the elections, which are underway, former Karnataka CM and BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai said, “Wait till 5 o’clock in the evening…”
Five candidates are in fray — Ajay Maken, Syed Nasir Hussain and G C Chandrashekar of Congress, Narayansa Bhandage of the BJP, and D Kupendra Reddy of the Janata Dal (Secular), or JD(S). The nomination of Reddy, which came as a surprise, had forced the polls for one of the seats. Each candidate requires 45 votes to sail through.
JD(S) and BJP are exploring options of getting the ruling Congress MLAs to cross vote as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee, D Kupendra Reddy, is falling short of four votes.
Earlier, the Congress had complained that MLAs are being blackmailed to vote for Kupendra Reddy. A Congress delegation filed a complaint with the Bengaluru Police Commissioner.
In Karnataka, three MPs from the Congress and one from the BJP are retiring and the outcome after the elections will be the same. As numbers stand in the Karnataka Assembly, the Congress is assured of three seats, and the BJP of one.
Each Rajya Sabha candidate needs at least 45 votes in the 224-MLA Karnataka Assembly to win a Rajya Sabha seat from the state.
The Congress with 135 MLAs has the exact number to elect its three candidates, Ajay Maken, Nasir Hussain and G C Chandrashekhar while the BJP has 66 MLAs, which means it can easily get its main candidate, party worker Narayansa Bhandage, elected.
Combined with the 19 JD(S) MLAs, the BJP-JDs second candidate Kupendra Reddy will need to get support of three Independents and get at least three Congress MLAs to cross-vote if he wants to win.
In the 2022 Rajya Sabha polls, cross-voting by two JD(S) MLAs that had caused the surprise defeat of Reddy, then a JD(S) candidate.
Voting for 56 Rajya Sabha seats from 15 states, which are falling vacant in April, got underway on Tuesday.
While 50 members retire on April 2, six will retire the following day. Of the 238 members of the Upper House at present, 109 are from NDA parties while 89 belong to parties in the INDIA alliance.
The term for Rajya Sabha MPs is six years, and elections are held after every two years for 33 per cent of the seats. Currently, the Rajya Sabha has a strength of 245 members.
The Rajya Sabha MPs are elected by the MLAs in an indirect election through the system of proportional representation. They are mostly foregone conclusions, with elections being held unopposed and all party candidates sailing through.
A total of 56 seats are falling vacant in this round of the biennial elections. The BJP can win 27 seats as per its numbers, plus 1 more with the help of the BJD in Odisha

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