RS Election: 'Pakistan Zindabad' Slogans Raised After Syed Naseer Hussain's Win, BJP Slams Congress (WATCH)


(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) In the recent Rajya Sabha elections in Karnataka held on Tuesday, the ruling Congress secured three seats while the BJP managed to win one, marking a setback for the saffron party amidst reports of cross-voting.
Elected to the Upper House were Ajay Maken, G C Chandrasekhar, and Syed Naseer Hussain representing the Congress, along with Narayansa K Bhandage from the BJP. The elections witnessed participation from elected MLAs as voters.
Among the five candidates contending for the four seats, D Kupendra Reddy of the JD(S) faced defeat in the electoral fray.

However, in what has sparked a massive controversy, supporters of Syed Naseer Hussain celebrated his victory with controversial chants of 'Pakistan Zindabad'. In a post on X, formerly Twitter, BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Legislative Assembly R Ashoka shared a video of the controversial chants, stating, "Shameless Congress workers shouted Pakistan Zindabad slogans in the Karnataka Assembly to celebrate Congress candidate Naseer Hussain's victory in the Rajya Sabha election."

"This is a direct fallout of CM Siddaramaiah and DCM DK Shivakumar's dangerous game of appeasement politics which has emboldened anti-national elements and tukde tukde gang," the BJP leader added.

Reports indicated that each MLA's vote carries a value of 100, with a minimum requirement of 4,441 votes to secure a candidate's election.

Ajay Maken, Syed Naseer Hussain, and Narayansa K Bhandage each received 4,700 votes, while G C Chandrashekhar secured 4,500 votes. Unfortunately, D Kupendra Reddy fell short with only 3,600 votes.

Notably, BJP MLA S T Somashekar cast his vote in favor of Ajay Maken, while another party legislator, A Shivaram Hebbar, chose to abstain from voting.

The BJP announced its intention to investigate potential legal action and file a complaint with Speaker U T Khader, seeking the disqualification of the concerned individuals from the assembly. This action is based on allegations of violating the party's issued whip to vote in favor of the party candidate.

"We have got the information that Somashekar has done cross-voting. I consulted with advocate Vivek Reddy who is our state legal cell president and a high court lawyer. We will ask the Speaker to initiate action (of disqualification) against him (Somashekar) and explore the possibilities to take steps in accordance with the law," R Ashoka said.

Somashekar had previously resigned from the Congress and subsequently joined the BJP. During his tenure, he served as a minister in the previous BJP government and was appointed as the Mysuru district in-charge minister.

However, in recent months, both Somashekar and Hebbar distanced themselves from the BJP and showed inclinations towards the Congress party.

In a strategic move, the BJP with its 66 MLAs and the JD(S) with 19 MLAs jointly nominated Kupendra Reddy, despite lacking the necessary votes for his election. The NDA partners expressed anticipation for "conscience votes," presumably from the opposing Congress camp, in support of Reddy.

The Congress holds 134 members in the assembly, with an additional four members, including two independents.

Somashekar said he heard the "voice of his conscience" and voted in favour of the Congress, "which built schools and carried out developmental works in his constituency". Hebbar too said he abstained from voting adhering to his conscience.

"This is not 'atma sakshi' (conscience) but 'atma droha' (self betrayal),” BJP MLC N Ravi Kumar said, commenting on Somashekar's and Hebbar's actions.

In Bengaluru, workers from the BJP and JD(S) organized a demonstration against Somashekar, where they burned his effigy while chanting slogans.

Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, also the state Congress chief, mocked the BJP and JD(S), stating that the "conscience vote seekers" have now turned into "conscience vote givers."

Regarding the issue of cross-voting, Shivakumar expressed ignorance, mentioning that he hasn't seen the votes of other members and independents. He directed the question back to the BJP, who had initially raised concerns about conscience votes.

When asked about the legal recourse for those who cast conscience votes for Congress candidates, Shivakumar suggested addressing the matter if and when it arises. He clarified that he is not aware of any complaints filed with the Speaker regarding cross-voting.

"Somashekar has cast his vote as per his conscience. It's a vote against the unholy BJP-JD(S) alliance. The general public, graduates, and teachers have rejected the alliance. Let's see what the legislators think," he added.

Previously, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah criticized the JD(S), accusing the party of attempting to entice and intimidate its MLAs.

“JDS needs 45 votes (for their candidate) to win. Do they have that many votes? Even though they don't have enough votes, they still fielded the candidate and are luring our MLAs. Do they have a conscience?” the chief minister asked.

“An FIR has been lodged regarding the threat to us,” Siddaramaiah said.

Speaking to reporters, Siddaramaiah lashed out at the JD(S), saying, "When JD(S) does not have 'atma' (soul), how can it have 'atma sakshi' (conscience)? They call themselves Janata Dal (Secular) but whom did they join with?”. He was referring to the JD(S) forming an alliance with the BJP.

H D Kumaraswamy, former chief minister and JD(S) second-in-command, stated that the FIR against Kupendra Reddy and his associates was lodged at the Vidhana Soudha police station. He clarified that the MLA who filed the complaint did not claim to have been lured himself but asserted that certain other MLAs were "approached."

“Melukote MLA Darshan Puttannaiah of Karnataka Sarvodaya Paksha too had said that it's true that his vote was sought but no one had lured him,” the JD(S) state chief claimed.

Kumaraswamy mentioned that the BJP and JD(S) jointly nominated Kupendra Reddy based on the votes of the 19 JD(S) MLAs and the supplementary BJP votes following its initial preferential votes.

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