Bangalore: Basavaraj Patil Sedam and R Ramakrishna (BJP), K Rahman Khan (Congress) and independent Rajeev Chandrashekhar filed nomination papers for the 30 March Rajya Sabha elections from Karnataka, but a "rebel" candidate propped by BS Yeddyurappa gave a dramatic twist to the poll process today.
The last minute entry by Yeddyurappa loyalist BJ Puttaswamy heated up the election scene on the last day of filing nominations for four seats, with the move being seen as the Karnataka BJP strongman's plot to maintain pressure on the central leadership to reinstate him as chief minister.
Puttaswamy, who served as Political Secretary to Yeddyurappa and continued in the position under his successor DV Sadananda Gowda as well, also announced that he has resigned from the post.
"I am the third official candidate of the BJP", he said adding, he has filed nomination with the signature of 10 MLAs. He claimed he would submit b-form tomorrow.
As Yeddyurappa renewed his bid to regain his post by exerting pressure on the central leadership through a sizeable section of MLAs and MPs, the move to field Puttaswamy is seen in some quarters as "bargaining ploy" to step up the pressure.
Earlier today,BJP's two official candidates - Ramakrishna,a retired IAS officer and the party's central election convener and Sedam,a former state unit president - filed nominations, as also Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha Rahman Khan.
Chandrashekhar, backed by BJP and JDS last time around, filed his papers in the company of senior JDS leader HD Revanna. JDS has 26 MLAs in the Assembly. He was expected to get "surplus votes" from BJP but if Puttaswamy remains in the fray, calculations may go wrong.
In the 224-member House, BJP has 120 MLAs, including the Speaker, while Congress has 71. A winner needs a minimum of 46 votes which ideally means candidates of these two parties can win easily. The Assembly also has seven independents,including one supporting the BJP.
The Rajya Sabha members from Karnataka retiring on 2 April are Hema Malini, K B Shanappa, Rahman Khan and Chandrashekhar.