Rajya Sabha polls: JD(S) picks Farooq to check Zameer

Entrepreneur may be party candidate; JD(S) has 40 votes, hopes to bag support of Independent legislators.

BENGALURU: In a tactical move aimed at silencing rebel MLA Zameer Ahamed Khan, Janata Dal (Secular) patriarch H .D. Deve Gowda has decided to field a Muslim candidate for next month’s Rajya Sabha elections.

Entrepreneur and Bengaluru Beary Welfare Association President, B.M. Farooq, is likely to be the Janata Dal (S) candidate for Rajya Sabha elections. To elect a candidate successfully, JD(S) requires 45 first preferential votes from MLAs. The party has 40 MLAs in the Assembly, but with the help of independents, the party would be able to ensure the nominee’s victory.

Mr Gowda’s move could well tantamount to killing two birds with one stone. By picking a Muslim candidate, he would not only succeed in checkmating rebel MLA Zameer Ahamed Khan, but also an attempt to send a strong message to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who has been projecting himself as messiah of the poor and the downtrodden. Interestingly, Mr. Farooq, former trustee of New Mangalore Port (NMPT), is the brother of Mohiuddin Bava, Congress MLA of Mangalore City North constituency.

On coming to know that JD (S) seems set to finalize the candidature of Farooq, Mr Siddaramaiah reportedly summoned his elder brother Bava and instructed him to prevent his brother from accepting the JD(S) offer. Mr Bava’s efforts, however, went in vain though he requested his brother not to accept the offer of D(S), according to sources close to state JD (S) chief H D Kumara Swamy.

Now with JD (S) taking a decision to field a Muslim candidate to contest polls to Rajya Sabha, such a move would help the party in the long run. Mr. Farooq not only has organizing skills but has the ability to provide resources to the party.

With the party’s image sagging for various reasons, and Muslims maintaining a distance after the decision of Mr Kumara Swamy to go with BJP in 2006, the leaders decided on an image make over and therefore picked a Muslim candidate and a Kannadiga.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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