Karnataka BJP okays 2 names for 3 Rajya Sabha seats

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The core committee of the Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit, which met in Bengaluru on Saturday, has decided to recommend the names of Prabhakar Kore, Ramesh Katti and Prakash Shetty for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections, according to people aware of the developments.

Two of the three names are likely to be finalised by the central leadership of the party for the June 19 elections, they said. Of the four RS vacant seats in Karnataka, the BJP is expecting to win two and the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) are likely to battle it out for the remaining seats.

Prabhakar Kore oversees about 250 educational institutions in Karnataka and Maharashtra under the Karnataka Lingayat Education (KLE) society and is a current Rajya Sabha member whose term will end on June 25. Ramesh Katti, who is eight-term MLA Umesh Katti’s brother, is a prominent BJP leader from northern Karnataka. Prakash Shetty is a hospitality and real estate entrepreneur who runs a chain of hotels.

For a member to be elected to the RS from Karnataka, they would require 44 votes. “The high command will decide the names from the list recommended or decide to have its own names. Since Tuesday is the last day for nominations, we expect the names to be announced on Sunday. We have not decided what we would do with the additional votes,” a senior BJP leader said on condition of anonymity.

The Congress has already announced veteran party leader Mallikarjuna Kharge as its candidate, while the JDS, which has 34 MLAs and would require 10 additional votes to get its candidate elected, says party supremo Deve Gowda is yet to take a call on contesting. The elections are scheduled for June 19 and the last day of nominations is June 9.

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