The second landing for the king of good times
It's the latest partnership in Indian politics, the King of Good Times with Karnataka's farmer king. Liquor baron Vijay Mallya stepping out to file his nomination for the Rajya Sabha, two years after his first term ended. Backing him in his efforts is H D Deve Gowda who has 27 MLAs in the Karnataka Assembly. Gowda refused to support the Congress, and his decision to back Mallya instead has sparked off speculation of the nature of the deal struck between Mallya and the former prime minister.
Mallya walked the corridors of Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore, flanked by two of Gowda's MP sons and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy and JDS legislative party leader and MLA H D Revanna with nomination papers in his hands. Gowda's most favourite son, H D Revanna, handled all the paperwork before Mallya filed his nomination papers. For a change, Mallya was behaving more like a humble, local Kannadiga and not like a high-profile Page3 person and corporate boss.
Mallya had entered the Rajya Sabha for the first time in 2002. Gowda's JDS had backed him even then. Apart from JDS' 27 votes, Mallya still needs 18 more votes to reach minimum required votes of 45 to win. He is hoping that the BJP would back him. The BJP has 32 excess votes after 45 votes each go to its official candidates M Venkaian Naidu and Ayanur Manjunath. Mallya's hopes of winning unopposed have been dashed after the Congress sprang a surprise by fielding T V Maruti as its second candidate. It has just 29 excess votes and can't win without JDS support. Maruti's candidature is aimed at exposing the JDS' double speak and money-bag politics.
An unfazed Mallya said, "I don't need to tell who are all supporting me. I would not be contesting, if I was not sure of my victory". '
Deve Gowda too doesn't seem worried by the accusation of playing for big money stakes in the Rajya Sabha elections. Kumaraswamy defended Mallya's candidature saying that Mallya is also a Kannadiga and he has every right to seek nomination to Rajya Sabha. He termed it as a strategic partnership between the JDS and the liquor baron.
UB group chairman Vijay Mallya has always entertained political ambitions, but his career hasn't taken off as smoothly as his airline Kingfisher. By entering the Rajya Sabha a second time, he is hoping for a safer landing this time.
More about D P SatishD P Satish has been a journalist for the past 14 years. Born at the picturesque Jog Falls in Shimoga district of Karnataka, Satish did his graduation in English Literature. He is a post-graduate in Journalism from the prestigious Asian College of Journalism, Bangalore (now in Chennai). After a brief stint with the Indian Express Group, he shifted to TV. He also worked for an American news magazine called ' Image '. He has widely travelled and covered some of the biggest events from South of Vindhyas in the first decade of the 21st century. He is passionate about English literature, classical music, cinema, history, photography, jazz and Cricket. A self-proclaimed centrist, Satish keenly follows major political developments from across the World. He blogs regularly and spends hours searching for readable material from the Internet! He belives that journalism is a calling and a person meant to be a journalist, can't escape from it. A hillman at heart and by birth, Satish lives and works in New Delhi. But, loves Bangalore more than Delhi!
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