Rahul Gandhi lashes out at JDS, calls it "Janata Dal Sangh Parivar"

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Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the rebel leaders were joining the Congress because they did not see a future for themselves in the JD (S), which has become a party of former prime minister H D Devegowda and his sons.

However, on the request of the ruling party's agent, the returning officer later allowed both the candidates to vote once again by issuing them a fresh ballot paper, he alleged.

The two Congress members were Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimmappa and Baburao Chinchansur.

In August previous year, C-Fore, a research organisation, had claimed that the Congress might win 120 to 132 seats, while the BJP, which has been trying hard to oust Siddaramaiah, would finish second with 60 to 72 seats.

THE FORTHCOMING assembly elections in Karnataka will pit the Congress ideology of secularism and unity of people against the divisive ideology of the BJP and the opportunistic politics of the JD (S), Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said at a pre-election Congress rally in Mysuru on Sunday. The Congress is fighting as one united organisation like never before.

The rebel legislators, who were earlier suspended by the JD (S) for defying the party's whip and cross-voting for Congress during the 2016 Rajya Sabha polls, had claimed to have voted in favour of Congress candidate G C Chandrasekhar in the Rajya Sabha polls in Karnataka.

The Assembly election is due in Karnataka by April-May.

BBMP former mayor Venkatesh Murthy, who was in the BJP, also joined the Congress on the occasion.

In the 225-member assembly (including one nominated), each candidate will require 44 votes to win a Rajya Sabha seat.

The votes cast by seven JDS rebel MLAs in the Rajya Sabha biennial election and also support of independents had helped the Congress win the third seat as a bonus, though it had the strength only to bag two seats for sure. Taking on the JD (S), he had said "S" in JD (S) stood for secular, "but in this election, they have got a new name JD (S) - Janata Dal Sangh Parivar".