Decision on JD(S)' principal opposition status in 10 days

Decision on JD(S)' principal opposition status in 10 days

Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa said on Saturday that he would take a decision on declaring BJP the principal opposition party in the Assembly, following the KJP’s merger with it, in the next 10 days.

Thimmappa told reporters that technically there were no hurdles to the merger of the KJP with the BJP as both the parties had mutually accepted the same. The KJP’s resolution for merger with the BJP was also valid as it had been endorsed by two-third of the MLAs and would not attract provisions of the anti-defection law.

However, Thimmappa said he would consult legal experts and also the Election Commission of India before giving his stamp of approval.

Earlier in the day, former chief minister and floor leader of the BJP in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar submitted a letter to the Speaker accepting KJP’s submission for merger with the BJP and staked the latter’s claim to be the principal opposition party.
At present, JD(S) is the principal opposition party in the Assembly. Both BJP and JD(S) secured 40 seats each in the Assembly polls. However, JD(S) got the position following its higher vote share.

Memorandum

In another development on Saturday, founder president of KJP Prasanna Kumar submitted a memorandum to the Speaker urging him not to accept the merger of KJP with the BJP. Kumar contended that former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa had violated rules while declaring himself as the KJP president.

Kumar had formally handed over the reins of the KJP to Yeddyurappa at a rally in Haveri in December 2012. Kumar submitted to the Speaker that the merger issue should be kept pending till the matter was resolved by courts.

Thimmappa said he would forward Kumar’s memorandum to the Election Commission of India and seek its view. To a query on the status of B R Patil and Guru Patil, the two KJP MLAs who had not signed the party’s merger resolution, Thimmappa said they could continue as KJP legislators in the Assembly.

Shettar said post-merger he would don the role of the Leader of the Opposition.
“I am the floor leader of the party. Once the party gets the position of principal opposition party, I will become Leader of the Opposition. It is natural”, he said. Shettar said Yeddyurappa and other KJP leaders are likely to seek primary membership of the BJP on January 9.

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