Big Setback for BJP as its Karnataka MLA Cross-Votes for Congress in Rajya Sabha Elections 

Big Setback for BJP as its Karnataka MLA Cross-Votes for Congress in Rajya Sabha Elections
Big Setback for BJP as its Karnataka MLA Cross-Votes for Congress in Rajya Sabha Elections

In Bengaluru, a significant development unfolded within the BJP-JD(S) alliance, casting a shadow over their unity as saffron party MLA S T Somashekar reportedly engaged in cross-voting during the Rajya Sabha elections for four seats in Karnataka on Tuesday. Meanwhile, another BJP MLA, Arbail Shivaram Hebbal, chose to abstain from voting altogether.

The decision by Somashekar to vote for Congress candidate Ajay Maken and Hebbal’s abstention from voting represent a noteworthy departure from party lines. Both Somashekar and Hebbal, purportedly disenchanted with the BJP, have been observed gravitating towards the Congress in recent months.

Somashekar, the representative of the Yashwantpur assembly constituency, and Hebbal, hailing from the Yellapur segment, have seemingly signaled their dissatisfaction with the BJP through their actions.

Expressing his dismay over Somashekar’s alleged cross-voting, Leader of Opposition R Ashoka conveyed his belief that such acts of betrayal are not well-received by the electorate. Ashoka emphasized the importance of integrity in the political process, stressing that recurrent instances of deceit undermine public trust.

Ashoka further disclosed his intent to pursue disciplinary action against Somashekar, consulting with legal experts to explore avenues for recourse within the bounds of the law. He emphasized the need for accountability, indicating that steps would be taken to address Somashekar’s deviation from party loyalty.

Somashekar’s political trajectory adds complexity to the situation, having previously defected from the Congress to join the BJP. His defection was accompanied by appointments within the BJP government, including a ministerial role and the responsibility of overseeing Mysuru district affairs.

Ashoka characterized Somashekar’s actions as “political suicide,” suggesting that his decision to vote against party lines could have significant repercussions within the political landscape.

Following the voting process, Somashekar defended his actions, asserting that he had voted in alignment with his conscience. However, his actions have undoubtedly sparked controversy and raised questions about party discipline and loyalty within the BJP ranks.

As the fallout from the Rajya Sabha elections unfolds, the BJP faces the challenge of reconciling internal dissent while maintaining cohesion within the alliance. The incident serves as a reminder of the fluid nature of political allegiances and the complexities inherent in coalition politics. Moving forward, the BJP will need to address grievances within its ranks and strategize effectively to mitigate potential fallout from such instances of dissent.

The rebel BJP leader defended his decision to vote based on conscience, citing support for individuals actively involved in educational and developmental initiatives within his constituency.

However, the Leader of Opposition, Mr. Ashoka, expressed disappointment over the actions of MLA Hebbar, who had assured his allegiance to the BJP but failed to vote as promised. Ashoka condemned Hebbar’s perceived betrayal, vowing to take disciplinary action against him.

Both Somashekar and Hebbar had previously switched allegiance from the Congress to the BJP along with 15 others, a move that led to the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in 2019 and the subsequent formation of the BJP government. Despite their defection, they were re-elected to the assembly in 2023 under the BJP banner.

The fallout from Somashekar’s cross-voting prompted protests from BJP and JD(S) supporters in Bengaluru, who staged a demonstration denouncing his actions. Effigies were burnt, and slogans were raised in opposition to Somashekar’s perceived disloyalty to the party.

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