BENGALURU: The ruling Congress is likely to draw a blank in elections to the Legislative Council from two Graduates’ and two Teachers’ constituencies, but could be able to secure the key posts of Chairman and deputy chairman in view of strained relations between leaders of the BJP and JD (S).
The BJP and JD (S) are likely to sweep these polls — Arun Shahpur of BJP retained his seat almost reaching his quota of votes required to win from north-west teachers constituency, while another BJP candidate, Hanumant Nirani, was leading by a margin of 6943 votes over Mahantesh Koujalgi of the Congress in north-west graduates' constituency. On the other hand, Basavaraj Horatti of JD (S) was elected for the record seventh term from west teachers' constituency, his colleague K T Srikantegowda was leading by 308 votes over BJP candidate M V Ravishankar in south graduates’ constituency.
Thus, if the BJP gains two seats, its floor strength would increase to 23 and that of the JD(S) to 12 seats in the upper House.
Therefore, the total strength of the combined opposition in the Council would be 35, and would increase to 38, with the inclusion of Chairman D.H. Shankaramurthy and two independent members, D.U. Mallikarjuna and Basavanagowda Patil Yatnal, who are identified with the BJP.
The ruling Congress, however, has 31 seats in the Council, and with the support of three independents, its strength would increase to 34. Soon, the government would nominate three members to the upper House, taking its strength to 37.
In view of strained relationship between leaders of BJP and JD(S) in the recently concluded elections to the upper House, those of JD (S) are unlikely to extend support to BJP in case members of the ruling party move no-confidence motion against both Chairman and deputy Chairman in an attempt to unseat them.