JD(S) May Field B M Farooq for Rajya Sabha Poll
Bengaluru: High stakes are involved in the forthcoming Rajya Sabha polls. Over the past decades, the RS poll arena has been a springboard for discarded politicians from other states to find rehabilitation, say political experts.
Three mainstream parties have been fielding candidates from other states regularly. Ram Jethmalani, Hema Malini and others have found this state as the last resort to enter the upper house, which is regarded as a house of elders, expected to be the guiding force for national development. But in most cases all parties have preferred political considerations than pragmatism.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded now-Union minister Venkaiah Naidu from Andhra three times in a row. There has been a grouse that as a man from that state, he has failed to do justice to Karnataka in the matter of Mahadai and Kalasa Banduri issues or any other major issues in the last eighteen years. Except for securing grants for minor local projects here and there, he has not done much for the state, say many of the BJP followers.
Congress too is said to be thinking of fielding former Union minister Palanisamy Chidambaram, since the AIADMK’s bulldozer majority may not allow a win for him from his state. There is opposition to his candidature here since many local persons are available. Both the parties seem to be under the compulsions of the ‘high command’ culture.
In this backdrop, the move of the Janata Dal (Secular) is gathering a lot of attention. This party too has sent entrepreneurs to the Rajya Sabha with an eye on election funding. Having supported Vijay Mallya and seen what he has done in the recent past, the party is feeling a loss of face.
Hence, it is said to be considering a local man to be sent to the RS. Only if Congress fields two candidates, the JD(S) has an easy chance with an unopposed win. But if Congress wants to take advantage of its surplus votes and fields its third candidate, elections will be necessary. The defeat for the third candidate could be embarrassing to the ruling party in the state.
With these equations in mind, JD(S) has announced that it would select a person from the state. It is said to be seriously considering the name of entrepreneur B M Farooq as its candidate.
A qualified engineer hailing from Mangaluru, Farooq has made a name in wind-generated power, real estate and other sectors. He also serves as the president of the Beary Welfare Association, Bengaluru. Incidentally, he is the brother of Mangaluru north MLA B A Mohiuddin Bawa.
It seems to be the intention of the JD(S) to kill two birds in one shot – having a man from the state as its candidate and also to keep the pro-minority image. His brother being a Congress MLA might also help to maintain a good relationship with that party in the long run.
Farooq’s name is only being mentioned in the political circles and has not been confirmed. Known as a shrewd politician, Deve Gowda will have the final say. And he is always known to spring surprises, especially at the last moment.