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"Vijay Mallya - Liquor baron wins Rajya sabha seat"

Bangalore, June 18 (IANS) A day after ensuring business baron Vijay Mallya's win in the Rajya Sabha poll from Karnataka with the help of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) Friday denied it was cozying up to the state's ruling party.

"We supported Mallya and not the BJP," JD-S state president and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy told reporters in Mysore, about 130 kms from here.

He denied the Congress charge that JD-S had entered into a secret pact with BJP and hence it had supported Mallya and not the Congress, which would have helped the party to win one more seat in Thursday's poll.

State Congress president R.V. Deshpande said Thursday that the JD-S and the BJP had entered into a tacit understanding to support Mallya. "This alliance is a harbinger of things to come," he said.

Liquor baron Mallya contested as a JD(S)-backed Independent and defeated Congress nominee T.V. Maruthi with the help of BJP votes.

BJP's former president M. Venkaiah Naidu and state leader Ayanur Manjunath and Congress general secretary and former central minister Oscar Fernandes were the other three winners in the polling held for four seats.

Since the JD-S had only 28 votes, including that of one Independent, BJP helped Mallya to win by transferring its second preference votes to him.

Kumaraswamy and his father, former prime minister and JD-S president H.D. Deve Gowda blamed the Congress for losing an opportunity to win the second Rajya Sabha seat from Karnataka.

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