With leaders of both parties holding talks, there are all indications that the ruling BJP and JD(S) are likely to join hands for the post of Karnataka Legislative Council Chairman and Deputy Chairman.
On Wednesday, JD(S) candidate for the Chairman post, Basavaraj Horatti, MLC, met Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa in this regard and sought the BJP’s support.
Horatti said JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda has already spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president J P Nadda seeking the ruling party’s support.
“I met the Chief Minister. Yesterday our (JDS) 13 MLCs, H D Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy (party leader and former CM) had held discussions, and we have decided to ask for council Chairman post and to support them (BJP) for the Deputy Chairman post,” Horatti said.
Speaking to reporters here after meeting Yediyurappa, he said the Chief Minister has told him that BJP’s decision will be communicated to the JD(S) leadership after discussion with the party MLCs.
“I’m the senior member in the House (council) and there is general opinion among everyone that I should be made (the Chairman).. so we are asking for the Chairman post and will support them (BJP) for Deputy Chairman,” he added.
The election for the post of Chairman and Deputy Chairman are likely to take place during the joint session of the state legislature beginning from Thursday.
There are all indications that the incumbent Chairman K Pratapachandra Shetty, who is from the Congress, may resign soon, as the ruling BJP has moved a no-confidence motion against him which is likely to be supported by the JD (S).
The post of the Deputy Chairman has fell vacant following JD(S)’ S L Dharme Gowda’s alleged death by suicide last month.
Noting that discussions have taken place with the Prime Minister and Nadda, Horatti said “Deve Gowda has told them that I (Horatti) should be given a chance considering my seniority.”
“Nadda had asked for my bio-data which has been sent.He has told Gowda that their decision will be communicated to the party (BJP) state president,” Horatti said, adding that he has experience, seniority and trust of MLCs of various parties to conduct the proceedings of the legislative council as its Chairman.
Horatti, however, was non committal to a question on seeking Congress’ support in case BJP does not come along.
“I have belief that they (BJP) will accept my candidature as Chairman,” he added.
Speculation is rife in BJP circles that the ruling party may agree to support Horatti, in return for the regional party’s support in its move to oust Shetty and passage of certain key bills, and will settle for Deputy Chairman post.
The earlier move by both parties in December to remove Shetty as Chairman was not successful as their notice of no-confidence was rejected on technical grounds. The House had witnessed high drama that day with the BJP-JDS and Congress members hurling abuses and pushing each other.
Amid the ruckus on December 15,the the then Deputy Chairman Dharme Gowda was even pulled down from the Chair.
Currently the ruling BJP is the single largest party in the Council with 31 seats, followed by Congress with 29 including the chairman, JD(S) 13, one independent and one vacant (due to death of Dharme Gowda). PTI