The Janata Dal-Secular leadership on Friday claimed at least two disgruntled MLAs did not vote in favour of its candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls for four seats from Karnataka, defying the party's diktat, with one of its legislators admitting he did so since he "loved" voting for the Congress nominee.
The regional party's Kolar MLA K Srinivas Gowda cast his vote for the Congress candidate, while Gubbi MLA S R Srinivas put a blank ballot paper into the box, which will be counted as invalid, JD-S legislature party leader H D Kumaraswamy said, fuming at his colleagues.
While Gowda accepted he voted for the Congress candidate, Srinivas rejected Kumaraswamy's claim and insisted he voted for his party's pick.
Gowda, who has maintained distance from JD-S and was seen hobnobbing with Congress for some time now, after casting his vote said, "I voted for Congress because I love it....my future politics is with Congress. I was earlier a Minister from Congress."
Kumaraswamy was visibly livid with Gowda.
"If that man who has won on JD-S ticket with the support of our workers has any decency, let him resign and do politics. He has insulted the people and JD-S workers of Kolar," Kumaraswamy said.
Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, he said there is no point in taking any action against him on behalf of the party as it's of no use, indicating the anti-defection laws were ineffective in curbing such activities.
Questioning the "morality" of Congress leaders, he said, "they go to people with slogans to save democracy, while Siddaramaiah and others are indulging in low level politics by hijacking MLAs of other parties...how different is Congress from the BJP? Congress is helping BJP to win, will Srinivas Gowda's vote help them win," the former Chief Minister asked.
Despite not having the required number of votes to win, the JD-S has fielded former MP D Kupendra Reddy as its candidate.
A candidate requires the support of 45 MLAs to win a seat, but JD-S has only 32 MLAs.
The Congress has rejected JD-S' request for support.
Further stating that JD-S MLA from Gubbi S R Srinivas has claimed that he has voted for the party, Kumaraswamy said, "in reality what has he done while voting on the ballot paper. His truth will come out by evening," he said. The counting of votes polled in today's elections will be counted later in the day.
"Such low level politics, are they legislators? He has put a blank ballot paper into the box. He has not voted for anyone, but outside the voting centre, in front of the media he has claimed he voted for JD(S)," he alleged.
Srinivas, however, rejected Kumaraswamy's allegations and said he voted for JD-S and has shown the ballot paper to the party's agent, and insisted truth will come out when votes are counted in the evening.
As this election has an open ballot system, every MLA (voter) will have to show his ballot paper to their designated party agents after choosing their preferences.
Meanwhile, the BJP and the Congress have demanded that JD-S MLA H D Revanna's vote be considered as invalid, alleging he showed the ballot paper to state Congress President D K Shivakumar (another party agent).
Revanna refuted the charge, saying "I have not shown it to Shivakumar, I have shown it to our senior MLA Puttaraju."
"Let them do whatever they want. Why didn't they object before me putting the ballot paper into the box? They could have stopped me from putting the paper into the box....Congress and BJP are together against us and making false allegations," he charged.