Former Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi and senior member Lahar Singh Siroya are retiring from the BJP. Two JD (S) and three Congress members are also leaving.
The EC has declared June 3 as polling day where legislators are voters.
The Karnataka Legislative Assembly has 225 members, including one nominee. The ruling BJP has 119 members, the opposition Congress 69 and the JD (S) 32. The 75-member legislature, also known as the upper house, has 37 members from the BJP, 26 from the Congress and 10 from the JD (S). These numbers are exclusive to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and the Chairman of the Council.
The BJP is hopeful of winning four seats, one each from the Congress and the JD (S), which will give the party a top spot in the council. In a separate development, Legislative Council Chairman Basavaraj Horatti, a JD (S) veteran, has also announced his decision to leave the party and join the BJP. Horatti, a veteran elected member from the teacher constituency, met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Bangalore on May 3, the day before his official joining the BJP. He plans to run as a BJP candidate from his constituency, which has not yet been announced.
For Chief Minister Basavaraj Bomai, the outcome of the June 3 election will not mean much politically, but there will be an edge in advancing his party’s reform program or bills related to his ideology. He could look forward to a comfortable passage of the bills as the BJP’s lack of a majority in the upper house blocked some controversial bills that were close to the party’s ideology, such as the anti-cow slaughter law. It had to bank on JD (S) support in exchange for a political deal to push the land reform bill.
“The point of discussion here is not the BJP, but who they will nominate,” said a political analyst. There is also speculation that BY Vijayendra, son of veteran BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa, may get a seat and the party may include him as a minister to keep the former chief minister in good humor.
At another level, the BJP and the Chief Minister can use the opportunity of council elections to indulge one or two key power aspirants in the party with tickets and make them MLCs. The BJP may choose a completely new face to replace Savadi and Lahar Singh, sources said.