Nirmala Sitharaman, Jaggesh to contest RS polls from Karnataka

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Highlights

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Kannada film actor-turned-politician Jaggesh will be the BJP candidates for the biennial election for the four Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka, which will take place on June 10.

Bengaluru: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Kannada film actor-turned-politician Jaggesh will be the BJP candidates for the biennial election for the four Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka, which will take place on June 10.

Sitharaman is eyeing her second term from Karnataka after the completion of her six years' tenure as Rajya Sabha member.

The party sprang a surprise by fielding Jaggesh, who hails from Turuvekere in Tumakuru, and set aside the speculation on the outgoing Rajya Sabha member K C Ramamurthy's candidature.

According to party insiders, this move was aimed at wooing the dominant Vokkaliga community and further strengthening the party base in Tumakuru district. Jaggesh was first elected as Congress MLA in May 2008 only to quit the party and the Assembly membership a year later in 2009, during what is called as 'Operation Lotus' that brought the BJP strongman B S Yediyurappa to power for the second time soon after a seven-day stint as Chief Minister. His new political home, the BJP, soon rewarded him with membership to the Karnataka Legislative Council.

The party fielded the two candidates given its strength in the Assembly.

The BJP sources said the party is still exploring the possibility to field one more candidate with the help of JD(S) and may field K C Ramamurthy as an independent candidate though the JD(S) has announced fielding Kupendra Reddy despite lacking requisite numbers.

Meanwhile, Congress leader and former union minister Jairam Ramesh would file his nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha election on Monday.

The elections to four seats of Rajya Sabha is necessitated as the term of office of members – Nirmala Sitharaman (Union Finance Minister) and K C Ramamurthy of BJP, and Jairam Ramesh and late Oscar Fernandes of Congress is due to expire on June 30.

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