Bengaluru: In a face loss to the ruling Congress in Legislative Council on Thursday, Chairman D H Shankaramurthy retained his position with the BJP-JD(S) combine defeating a resolution to remove him by one vote.
The Congress, which had moved the resolution seeking the removal of Shankaramurthy on communal and corruption charges, secured 36 votes in the 75-member Upper House (one seat vacant).
The combined votes in favour of Shankaramurthy were 37. The BJP, the JD (S) and two Independent members voted against the resolution, which was moved by V S Ugrappa of Congress.
Two days ago, State JD (S) President H D Kumaraswamy had declared that the party would maintain status quo when it comes to supporting the BJP in the Council. On Thursday, he stood by his words. The Congress even offered the chairman’s post to the JD (S). However, the luring failed. The JD (S) had issued a whip to its 13 members to be present in the House and vote against the resolution moved by the Congress.
However, till the voting process was completed, nobody was sure whether the JD (S) would continue to stand by the BJP. Shankaramurthy himself was intently watching the proceedings.
How many MLCs voted against the resolution moved by the Congress to remove Shankaramurthy?
37- BJP 23 , JD(S) 12, Independents 2
How many MLCs voted in favour of the resolution moved by the Congress?
36 : Congress 33, Independents 3
Why did the JD(S) continue its support to the BJP and did not stand by the Congress on the move to dislodge D H Shankaramurthy as the chairman of the Legislative Council?
The JD(S) may not reveal the truth. But several reasons are being attributed for the JD(S) voting against the resolution moved by the Congress to oust Shankaramurthy.
Sources in political parties said it was JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy’s decision to vote against the resolution as he wanted to embarrass the ruling Congress, for he felt his party was being victimised by the state government.
Besides, the JD(S) feels the Congress in the state is rapidly losing ground and there is no point in associating with the party during an election year. Sources close to Kumaraswamy said the JD(S) leader is of the opinion that the state government is trying to fix him in the Janthakal mining case.
There is also a personal factor. Shankaramurthy has a good rapport with former prime minister and JD(S) national president H D Deve Gowda and their association goes back to the days of the undivided Janata Party in the 70s.
On record, Kumaraswamy told reporters that JD(S) was just continuing its understanding with the BJP arrived in 2015 for sharing the post of chairman and deputy chairman of the Council. “It is not a new development. Shankaramurthy became the chairman with the support of the JD(S). We are just continuing that support,” he said.
However, he said the support to the BJP is confined only to the Council and there will be no tie-up with the party for the 2018 Assembly polls. The Congress had tried to dislodge Shankaramurthy in 2015. The Congress, with 28 members and the support of four independents, felt it could claim the post of chairman as the BJP’s strength had reduced to 31. However, the BJP and the JD(S) joined hands. Kumaraswamy trained his guns on the Congress, accusing it of indulging in such things for electoral gains.
“This morning (KPCC president) G Parameshwara offered us the post of chairman if we supported the resolution. The Congress speaks about uniting secular forces. But it is actually dividing secular forces,” Kumaraswamy said. He said the ruling party was treating JD(S) legislators badly. A minister did not offer a JD(S) MLA a seat when he went to his chambers to speak to him, Kumaraswamy said. He appreciated the stand taken by senior MLC Basavaraj Horatti. “Some legislators suggested that Horatti, the seniormost member of House, be made chairman. But Horatti rejected the offer stating the party is bigger than him,” Kumaraswamy said.
Replying to a query, Kumaraswamy claimed that the party’s decision to vote against the resolution had nothing to do with the Janthakal mining case.
Leader of the Opposition K S Eshwarappa said the resolution to remove the chairman was a conspiracy hatched by the Congress for the ‘sale of position.’
DH News Service