Suraj Revanna set to win seat, BJP, Cong neck and neck in Karnataka MLC polls

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Suraj Revanna from the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S), who is the eighth member of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda’s family to enter electoral politics, was all set to be elected to the Upper House of the Karnataka legislature, according to the trends emerging in the counting of votes for the biennial election to the council’s 25 seats from 20 local authorities’ constituencies on Tuesday.

Suraj is the elder son of Gowda’s son and former minister, HD Revanna. Suraj’s younger brother is the Member of Parliament (MP) from Hassan, his mother was a former Zilla Panchayat member who is likely to seek re-election in the local body polls early next year.

Gowda’s other son, HD Kumaraswamy, was the former chief minister of Karnataka and is the JD(S) legislator from Channapatana. Kumaraswamy’s wife is the legislator from Ramanagara and their actor son, Nikhil, unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Mandya, a stronghold of the regional party.

The MLC polls were conducted on December 10 for 25 seats in the 75-member upper house of the state legislature with the terms of 14 Congress, seven Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and four JD(S) MLCs set to end on January 5. All three major parties are looking to win big in the MLC polls which is key to controlling the Upper house or the Vidhana Parishad.

According to preliminary reports, the BJP and the Congress are leading in 11 seats each while the JD(S) is expected to win in Hassan if the current trends hold till the end of counting, underway in about 20 centres across the state, A clear picture is likely to emerge by post noon or evening, poll officials said.

The Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government is hoping to overcome the loss suffered in the October 30 bypolls in Hanagal. The defeat at the hands of the Congress dealt a big blow to Bommai who is from the adjoining Shiggaon constituency in Haveri district, that fuelled speculation of a growing divide within the saffron outfit.

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A big win in the MLC polls will help Bommai secure control of the upper house and cement his position as the head of the government. His ascent to the top post in the state was hotly contested by members of his own party when a replacement for former chief minister BS Yediyurappa was being searched for earlier this year.

The results would also help the Congress asses their chances in upcoming polls like zilla and taluka panchayat, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) polls and the 2023 assembly elections.

The JD(S) has found it hard to bounce back after it won only one out of the 28 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The regional outfit has allowed its local leaders to ally with any party they think would “benefit the JD(S)”–tacitly extending support to the BJP as both parties consider the Congress as their “common enemy”.

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