Submitted by alvin on Thu, 2016-05-26 17:28 Bengaluru: JD(S) is all set to field a city-based business tycoon BM Farookh as its candidate in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections on June 11. With liquor baron and loan defaulter Vijay Mallya away in London, JD(S) is making hectic parleys to fill up the vacancy created by him at Rajya Sabha. Mallya is a Rajya Sabha MP from JD(S). In fact, fielding a candidate from minority community appears to be the right choice for the party that has been facing revolt from its two prominent minority leaders - Zameer Ahmed Khan and Iqbal Ansari. Fielding Farookh is said to salvage its supporters from minority community, who were drifted due to in-fighting in the party. Interestingly, Farookh is the younger brother of Mohiudheen Bhava, a sitting Congress legislator from Mangaluru city north constituency. By choosing Farookh, JD(S) has not only vowed to support minorities – when the fascist elements are trying to create a sense of insecurity among the members of the minority communities – but has also the created ripples in the Congress fold. Congress has 123 members in the electoral college which is sufficient enough to secure two seats for Rajya Sabha with a surplus of 33 votes. The BJP has 44 members and with the support of another legislator, winning one seat for the party appears to be a smooth sailing. However, the JD(S) has only 40 legislators and depends upon the support of at least eight members from the large contingent of independent legislators. Sources close to HD Kumaraswamy – on condition of anonymity – said that a large number of independent legislators have already pledged their support to JD(S) in its bid to get its candidate re-elected on the vacancy created by Mallya. But the Congress might throw in the spanner here by fielding another candidate from Muslim community. Sources close to DK Shivakumar said that the party has approached a well-to-do businessman. However, this would prove costly to the Congress if it fails to get the support of all the independent legislators. And failure to win the third seat would result in serious repercussions and this is likely to put pressure on the Chief Minister. Many in the party circles feel that the Congress should not attempt for the third seat at all. JD(S) too feels that it was unethical for Congress to field a third candidate in a bid to scuttle the winning chances of JD(S) especially when it is sharing power with JD(S) in BBMP. The Rajya Sabha election which otherwise would not have evoked any interest has gained momentum in the state with these developments. When contacted Farookh admitted that the JD(S) is considering him for the RS seat and is very optimistic that he would win. A pioneer in developing wind energy and a strong advocate for environmental friendly projects in renewable energy sector, Farookh has many successful projects to his credit in the field. Hailing from Surthkal in Dakshina Kannada district, Farookh is settled in Bengaluru. His wife Fousiya and three daughters seem to be oblivious to the Cong-JD(S) fight for supremacy over minority community in this RS election. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. Author: P Usman is a High Court advocate.