BJP names Rajeev Chandrasekhar as Rajya Sabha candidate from Karnataka

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From: LiveMint By: Reuters Published at: March 12, 2018
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Bengaluru: Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a businessman and entrepreneur from Bengaluru, will be the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Rajya Sabha nominee from Karnataka.
Chandrasekhar’s name was in a list of 18 names proposed by the BJP on Sunday from different states for the ensuing biennial elections to the upper house. If elected, this would be Chandrasekhar’s third stint in the upper house of Parliament.
On Sunday, the All India India Congress Committee (AICC) too approved the names of Dr. L. Hanumanthaiah, Dr. Syed Naseer Hussain and G.C.Chandrasekhar as its three candidates from the state of Karnataka.
Heading into Lok Sabha elections, due next year, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has taken several strategic decisions to gain a majority in the upper house of Parliament to help the smooth passage of key legislations before the polls.
The Congress is trying to send at least three people to the upper house from poll-bound Karnataka after the terms of four members of Parliament—K.Rahman Khan (Congress) Basavaraj Patil Sedam and Ramakrishna R. (BJP) and Rajeev Chandrasekhar (independent)—ended on 2 April.
As on 19 February, the Congress had 122 members, the BJP had 43 and the Janata Dal (Secular) had 37 seats in the lower house of the Karnataka legislature. With 122 assembly seats, the Congress can comfortably send two candidates and will have to muster a few votes for a third. The BJP, with 43 assembly seats, is just one short of the required 44 votes. The Janata Dal (Secular) with a seat strength of 37, off which a few members are on their way out of the party, may have to struggle to send their candidate to the upper house after it was denied any support by the Congress.
Pro-Kannada organizations from both parties had demanded that only locals are fielded in the elections, that had threatened to dent Chandrasekhar’s chances as he hails from Kerala.
Chandrasekhar, who was earlier classified as an independent Rajya Sabha member, has been critical of the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in Karnataka in the run up to the assembly elections, scheduled to be held later this year. He supported the NDA regime and has served as its vice-chairman in Kerala. He was first elected in 2006.
The polling and counting of votes for 59 Rajya Sabha seats will take place on 23 March. Nearly one fourth of the upper house is going to the polls that could alter the exiting math in the Rajya Sabha. The NDA’s electoral wins over the last four years are set to find reflection in the upper house as the BJP is likely to gain seats from Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Jharkhand—states it rules, Mint reported.
At present, the BJP has 58 members in the Rajya Sabha, while the NDA as a whole has 82 and the Congress has 54 members in the 245-member house.

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