Bengaluru: BJP's MLC candidate Sunil Valyapure files his nomination papers for Karnataka Legislative Council Elections 2020 in the prrsence of state party president Naleen Kumar Kateel, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjola, State Cabinet Mi. Image Source: IANS News

Bengaluru, June 18 : Eight candidates, including an Independent, filed nominations for the June 29 biennial elections to 7 Karnataka Legislative Council seats to fill vacancies caused by expiry of their term, an official said on Thursday.

"Of the 8 candidates, 4 from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 2 from the opposition Congress and 1 from the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) filed their papers with Returning Officer M.K. Vishalakshi at the Vidhana Soudha (state secretariat)," a poll official told IANS here.

Vishalakshi is also the Karnataka Assembly Secretary.

From the BJP, M.T.B. Nagaraj, R. Shankar, Sunil Valyapure and Pratap Simha Nayak filed the papers, followed by B.K. Hariprasad and Naseer Ahmed of the Congress and Govindraju from the JD-S. Independent candidate P.C. Krishnegowda also filed his papers.

"The nominations will be scrutinised on Friday and last date for withdrawal by candidates is on June 22. Voting and counting will be on June 29, as the 6-year term of the 7 vacancies lapse on June 30," said the official.

Each candidate requires 28 votes of their party legislators to win the election.

Of the 4 names the BJP's state core committee recommended on Tuesday, the party's high command approved three and omitted H.R Vishwanath, who defected from the JD-S to the ruling party and lost in the December 5 assembly by-elections from Hunsur in Mysuru district on its ticket.

Nagaraj, a former Congress rebel, who also lost in the assembly by-election from Hoskote in Bengaluru Rural district on a BJP ticket, was the state housing minister in the 14-month-old JD-S-Congress coalition government, which fell on July 23, 2019 after 17 of their rebels resigned then.

Shankar, who was an Independent and a minister in the former coalition government, was not given the BJP ticket to contest in the December assembly bypolls though he too resigned from the Ranebennur assembly seat in Haveri district, about 340km northwest of Bengaluru, along with former Congress and JD-S rebels.

Valyapure is the party's grass-root leader from Chincholi in Gulbarga district in the state's northern region, about 586km from Bengaluru.

Valyapure extensively campaigned in the May 2019 general elections and ensured the victory of BJP candidate Umesh Yadav from the reserved Gulbarga Lok Sabha seat, defeating Congress senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge.

Nayak is also the party's grassroot cadre who rose from the ranks to become its Dakshina Kannada district president in the state's coastal region.

As the ruling party has 116 legislatorsAin the 225-member Assembly, all its 4 candidates will secure 28 votes each to win the contest.

Though 5 of the 7 outgoing Council members are from the Congress, it is able to contest only 2 seats as it has 68 legislators to ensure their victory.

Hariprasad, 65, is the party's 4-time outgoing Rajya Sabha member and Ahmed is re-contesting for the second term.

With 34 legislators, the JD-S nominee Govindaraju will also get elected.

Besides Ahmed, the 4 outgoing Congress members are Jayamma, M. C. Venugopal, N S Bose Raju and H M Revanna. The term of T.A. Sharavana of the JD-S and Independent D.U. Mallikarjuna also ends on June 30.

Of the 75-member Council, the opposition Congress has 37, BJP 19, JD-S 16, two Independents and one Chairman

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