To deny BJP an extra Rajya Sabha seat, Congress may back Deve Gowda

NEW DELHI: Janata Dal(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda may be back in Parliament as Congress is ready to support the former PM for a Rajya Sabha seat from Karnataka, a move that is aimed at stopping BJP from gaining an extra seat in the coming elections.
Congress on Friday announced party veteran and former leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge for the assured seat that it can win from the southern state. Kharge lost the 2019 Lok Sabha election in which Congress could win just one seat in the state where it then ran a coalition government with JD(S). The Karnataka government led by JD(S) later fell following largescale resignations of Congress MLAs who joined BJP.
After the votes for Kharge in the RS polls, Congress would be left with 14 surplus MLAs and well-placed party sources said its best option was to use the extra tally to block rival BJP. Sources said an “acceptable candidate” or “Deve Gowda himself” would be the best option for the possible tie-up.
While it was said that JD(S) has not yet approached Congress, an insider said there have been informal talks on the issue. Congress and JD(S) will have enough votes to seal the victory of a second non-BJP candidate.

If Congress and JD(S) stitch an understanding, it will mark some consolation for the opposition in the election to the Upper House where the principal opposition party’s calculations have gone awry.
The rebellion by Jyotiraditya Scindia and defection of MLAs which toppled the Kamal Nath government is also set to cost Congress an otherwise assured second seat in MP.