Mallya contesting RS poll with JD-S support

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Bangalore, 07 June 2010: Liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Monday filed nomination papers as an Independent candidate for the June 17 polls to four Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka with the backing of Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S).

Mallya, who also runs Kingfisher Airlines and owns Indian Premier League team of Royal Challengers Bangalore, is banking on the support of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also to return to Rajya Sabha after a three year gap. Mallya had won as Independent in the 2002 polls to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka.

A candidate requires 45 first preference votes of the state assembly members. The JD-S has 27 members in the 225-member assembly.The BJP with 122 votes, including those of six Independents, is assured of winning two seats for which its nominees - former party chief M. Venkaiah Naidu and state party leader Ayanur Manjunath - have already filed their papers.

The BJP will have 32 surplus votes and Mallya is confident of getting the 18 votes he needs to sail through.The Congress, with 74 members, can easily win one seat for which senior leader Oscar Fernandes has filed the papers. The party’s second candidate T.V. Maruthi, an industrialist, filed papers Monday, the last day for nominations.
"If I was not confident, I would not have filed the nomination," Mallya, flanked by JD-S state president and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, told reporters after filing his nomination.

Asked whether the BJP has assured support, Mallya said: "I have not contacted anybody. I am going by Kumaraswamy’s guidance. But wait till June 17, things will be clear."
Kumaraswamy said election strategy and related details cannot be discussed in public.
The JD-S decided to back Mallya after its efforts for a pact with Congress collapsed. It wanted Congress to give two seats in last week’s elections to the state legislative council in return for its support to Congress’ second candidate for the Rajya Sahba.
It also wanted Congress not to renominate B.K. Hariprasad. The Congress rejected these conditions leading to the collapse of the talks forcing the JD-S to withdraw its second nominee to the state legislative council.

With little hope of getting its second candidate elected, the Congress decided not to renominate Hariprasad and asked Maruthi to file papers.


Comments on this Article
Jayakar Shetty, Mangalore Wed, June-9-2010, 5:56
One thing is for sure that Mr. Mallya may not become a corrupt politician as he already have enough money for himself.
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