K'taka BJP MLA votes for Cong candidate in RS polls?
K'taka BJP MLA votes for Cong candidate in RS polls?IANS

BJP MLA S.T. Somashekar has voted for the Congress candidate in the ongoing Rajya Sabha elections here on Tuesday, said sources.

Somashekar representing the Yeshwanthpur seat in Bengaluru said on Tuesday after voting, "I have cast my vote for those who promised. My vote has gone to those who have given assurances to me."

The BJP MLA hurriedly left the Vidhana Soudha when asked whether he voted for the BJP candidate. Sources confirmed that Somashekar had cast his vote for Congress party candidate G.C. Chandrashekar.

Sources in the BJP confirmed the cross-voting by Somashekar. The polling agents, BJP MLAs Arvind Bellad and V. Sunil Kumar, had conveyed the message to the Leader of Opposition R. Ashoka and state President B.Y. Vijayendra.

K'taka Budget session to commence today.

The party is now contemplating stringent action against Somashekar after consulting the central leadership.

Reacting to the cross-voting by Somashekar, former CM H.D. Kumaraswamy said that Somashekar joined the BJP on the pretext of developing his constituency, "but after being a cabinet minister for three years he had only developed himself".

On this Somashekar said that "was he not an opportunist when he became the CM by joining hands with Congress party? He should have declined the post respecting the fact that the mandate was not in favour of him."

Somashekar had joined the BJP in 2019 and was made a cabinet minister. After the Assembly elections in 2023, Somashekar maintained a distance from the BJP and claimed that insiders were systematically sidelining him in the party.

Deputy Chief Minister and Congress state President D.K. Shivakumar had earlier said that he has cherished his relationship with Somashekar for years. And, Somashekar had also said that Shivakumar was his godfather. The BJP MLA had supported the Congress candidate in the recently held MLC elections.

(With inputs from IANS)