July 16, 2020 | 12:03 AM IST
rajya sabha polls

Ex-PM Deve Gowda will contest Rajya Sabha polls to please Sonia Gandhi

Former Prime Minister and senior Janata Dal-Secular leader HD Deve Gowda HD Deve Gowda (87) will now contest the Rajya Sabha elections on June 19 at the request of Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi. The news was confirmed by Gowda’s son and former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy through a tweet on Monday. 

The tweet read, “Former PM @H_D_Devegowda have decided to contest the Rajya Sabha elections at the request of party legislators, @INCIndia Sonia Gandhi Ji and several national leaders. He is going to file his nominations tomorrow. Thanks to Sri DeveGowda for agreeing to everyone's consensus.”
The Congress has also nominated Former Union Minister and a prominent Dalit face Mallikarjun Kharge as one of its candidate for June 19 polls. 
Gowda’s announcement has come as a surprise to political parties, as in January, Gowda had shown disinterest in Rajya Sabha polls.
The elections are being held to fill 18 Rajya Sabha seats - four each from Karnataka and Gujarat, three each from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, two from Jharkhand, and 1 each from Manipur and Meghalaya. Elections for these seats will have to be completed by June 22.
The polls were earlier scheduled to be held in March earlier this year, but were deferred by the Election Commission of India due to the nationwide lockdown.

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