The Karnataka Legislative Council that has been called for a day-long session on Tuesday is expected to be stormy as the ruling BJP is likely to insist on its no-confidence motion against the Chairman, and the tabling of anti-cow slaughter bill is also on the cards.
Accusing Council Chairman K Pratapachandra Shetty of ‘abruptly’ adjourning the session sine die on December 10, the BJP government decided to convene the House, and the ruling party had also petitioned the Governor in this regard.
Though the no-confidence motion moved by it against the Chairman does not find mention in the Council’s agenda for Tuesday, the ruling BJP is likely to insist on it, sources said.
According to sources, there is also a possibility of the Chairman rejecting the no-confidence motion.
Even though the contentious anti-cow slaughter bill is mentioned in the agenda, according to BJP sources, its tabling may depend on the no-confidence motion, as it is the priority subject for the ruling side during the session.
It also fears that the bill may be referred to the select committee by the combined opposition.
The opposition Congress will vehemently oppose the no-confidence motion against the Chairman and demand for referring the anti-cow slaughter bill to the select committee, sources said.
The JD(S), according to party sources, is likely to back the no-confidence motion against the Chairman, but oppose the anti-cow slaughter bill, while demanding that it be referred to the select committee.
Chairman Shetty last week set aside the BJP’s attempt to move a no-confidence motion against him stating that he was taking legal opinion on the matter.
He had refused to include it in the agenda, citing rules that the subject could be taken up only after 14 days after submission of notice of no-confidence.
The ruling party had expressed serious reservation over the Council Chairman’s decision to abruptly adjourn the House on Thursday despite the Business Advisory Committee having scheduled the proceedings till December 15, and even as the no-confidence motion against him was pending.
A BJP delegation had even met Governor Vajubhai Vala in this regard and sought for his intervention, and subsequently the session was convened on Tuesday through the Council Secretary.
The ruling party members have insisted that their no-confidence motion has to be taken up, as the 14 days time period is over, and they are hopeful of succeeding with the help of the JD(S).
However, Leader of opposition in the upper House S R Patil of the Congress said that the BJP’s motion had procedural lapses and hence was not valid.
The Congress legislature party meeting has been called on Tuesday morning ahead of the session to decide on their plan of action inside the House, which will be attended by CLP leader Siddaramaiah.
The party has issued a whip to all its members to attend the Council proceedings tomorrow.
Shetty was elected as the Chairman of the Council during the Congress-JD(S) coalition government.
Currently the ruling BJP is the single largest party in the Council with 31 members, followed by Congress with 29 including the chairman.
The JD(S) has 14 members and there is one independent.
A similar no-confidence motion was moved by the then ruling Congress against the previous Council Chairman D H Shankaramuthy, a BJP veteran, in 2017, but it got defeated as the JD(S) had jumped to his support.
The JD(S)’ role will be crucial during the proceedings in the Council tomorrow.
Ahead of the session, JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy today said, party leader in the House Basavaraj Horatti will take a decision after discussing with other MLCs on the issue of no-confidence motion against the Council chairman.
‘However, we are completely opposed to the anti-cow slaughter bill,’ he said.
Kumaraswamy also noted that that after the session was adjourned sine die by the Council chairman, to call the session once again the government should have decided on the date in the cabinet and sent it to the Governor, but in this case couple of MLCs have petitioned the Governor and the session was called through Council secretary.
‘..we need to see if there are technical issues,’ he added.
The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, which has come to be known as the anti-cow slaughter bill that has been passed by the assembly despite stiff opposition from the Congress, is likely to be taken up by the Council on Tuesday.
The Council was adjourned sine die on December 10 even before the bill was tabled there for passage.
For a bill to become law, its passage in the Council, followed by assent by the Governor is necessary.
According to sources, the BJP government, which had ‘hurriedly’ tabled the bill and ensured its passage in the assembly last week, did not table it in the council on sensing that the numbers were not in its favour with combined opposition-Congress and JD(S)- against it, and may refer it to the joint select committee.
The anti-cow slaughter was in the BJP’s manifesto and ever since the party came back to power in the state, several party leaders had been making a pitch to re-enact the law.
The party’s state executive had adopted a resolution to this effect. PTI