Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) (JD-S) leader HD Deve Gowda has decided to contest Rajya Sabha elections, news agency ANI reported. He is doing this at the request of party legislators, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and many other leaders, ANI further reported.
His son and former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said that Deve Gowda will file the nomination on Tuesday.
Deve Gowda had said in January that he is not interested in going to the Rajya Sabha. The JD(S) leader had said that he will “work towards strengthening the party”.
Four Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka are falling vacant this month after Rajeev Gowda and BK Hari Prasad of the Congress, Prabhakar Kore of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and D Kupendra Reddy of the JD(S) retire.
Gowda left his traditional stronghold of Hassan - from where he was elected five times between 1991 and 2014 - to his grandson Prajwal Revanna in the Lok Sabha elections held last year.
He had contested from the Tumkuru Lok Sabha seat. While Revanna won, Gowda lost to the BJP’s GS Basavaraj by about 13,000 votes.
The BJP won the Lok Sabha polls in the state with a huge margin as it cornered 25 of the 28 seats and one Independent backed by the party also won. The Congress and the JD(S) were reduced to a seat each.
The elections to fill the vacant 18 Rajya Sabha seats from seven states will be held on June 19. The last date of filing nominations has been fixed on June 9 while scrutiny of papers would be held on June 10.
The last date of withdrawal of papers has been fixed on June 12, the notification from Election Commission of India said.
Congress has decided to field one candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief DK Shivakumar said on Monday that the party would soon take a decision on the issue of support Deve Gowda’s candidature.