Karnataka Legislative Council Chairman K Prathapachandra Shetty on Thursday announced his resignation, paving the way for a joint candidate of BJP and JD(S) to take over the post.
Shetty, a Congress MLC, against whom the ruling BJP has moved a no-confidence motion and with JD(S) too expressing support to it, announced his resignation on the floor of the House before adjourning it for the day. He subsequently submitted his resignation letter to Deputy Chairman M K Pranesh. Shetty was elected as Chairman in 2018, when the Congress-JD(S) coalition government was in power.
With numbers clearly against him, Shetty decided to resign, sources said, the issue of his resignation is also said to have come up for discussion during the Congress Legislature Party meeting held last evening. With this, the path is now clear for senior JD(S) MLC Basavaraj Horatti to become the new Chairman of the Legislative Council, after following the process of election.
As per the arrangement between both parties BJP MLC M K Pranesh was on January 29 elected as the Deputy Chairman of the Council, with the backing from JD(S), and the ruling party will now return the favour by supporting the regional party MLC Horatti for the Chairman post.
According to BJP sources the party agreed to support Horatti as Chairman instead of seeking the post for itself in return for JD(S) support in its move to oust Shetty and passage of certain key bills. 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 then Deputy Chairman Dharme Gowda, who is now no more, 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 Shetty), JD(S) 13, one independent and one vacant (due to death of Dharme Gowda).
Announcing his resignation, Shetty thanked MLCs for their support during his tenure as the Chairman. He said, “The change in numerical strength of the House has come to my notice. Technically I have time till the next assembly to prove majority, but as someone who greatly values morality in life and not wanting to give opportunity for unnecessary discussions, I”m tendering my resignation as the Chairman and submitting it to the Deputy Chairman as per rules.”
Pointing to the December 15 ruckus in the House, Shetty said that everyone should introspect to prevent such incidents. “Due to a game based on numbers, an unpleasant incident took place in the Council, which has hurt me deeply,” he said, adding that he had not eyed any position of power in his political career spanning 37 years. Suggesting that the strength of the House should not be the only parameter to elect the Chairman, Shetty said, it should not be so, if the Chairman’s keep changing just on the basis of numbers repeatedly it would set a wrong precedent and make it difficult for the smooth functioning of the House. PTI