Council admits no-trust motion notice against Chairman

Council admits no-trust motion notice against Chairman

Council admits no-trust motion notice against Chairman

The Legislative Council on Tuesday admitted a notice by the ruling Congress seeking to move no-confidence motion against Chairman D H Shankaramurthy.

Shankaramurthy, however, said the notice was “not as per the procedure and against the principle of natural justice”.

“As the notice does not mention any specific charge or any instance against me, I will not be able to reply to it. Hence, the notice is not as per the procedure and it is against the principle of natural justice (sic),” he stated, adding that he is allowing it to be admitted only to uphold the dignity of the House.

In a curious development on Tuesday night, JD (S) state president H D Kumaraswamy said his party will not support the Congress on the motion against Shankaramurthy. “At present, the JD (S) is supporting the BJP in the Council. The status quo will be maintained,” he said. This would mean the no-confidence motion would be defeated in the House.

Home Minister G Parameshwara, also the state Congress president, met JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda.

He sought JD(S) support to oust Shankaramurthy.

“The party (Congress) is short of two members to prove majority in the Council. The Congress and the JD(S) already have an understanding in the BBMP. The two parties are now coming together for the election of the new Council chairman. But, we have not discussed on who should be the new Chairman. The alliance is confined only to the Council and not the 2018 Assembly elections,” Parameshwara told reporters after meeting

Within five days
In the House, the Chairman will decide on the date of discussion on the motion. As per the rule book, discussion on the motion has to be allowed within five days of admitting it. “The Congress is setting a bad precedent by seeking to move the motion. Never in the history of the Council has the presiding officer been removed,” Shankaramurthy later told reporters.

Asked whether he can preside over the House during the debate on the no-confidence motion, Shankaramurthy said he also has the right to vote on the motion. “I am the Chairman of the House till the motion is passed. So I can sit in my place,” he added.

The Congress members, including Parameshwara, supported the move seeking the Chairman’s ouster.
Party leader V S Ugrappa and five other MLCs had submitted the notice to the Legislative Council secretariat on May 30, charging Shankaramurthy with being partisan and hence they had lost confidence in him.

The Congress’ move to oust the chairman now hinges on the JD(S) support. In the 75-members Council, the Congress has 36 MLCs, the BJP 23 and the JD(S) 14. The ruling party is short of two members to win the motion, and it is hopeful that the JD(S) will stand by it.

The JD(S) is said to be playing the cards close to its chest. 

‘Not as per procedure’
Earlier, Shankaramurthy argued that the notice is not as per the procedure and that it does not even satisfy any of the conditions for admission in the House.

He extensively quoted the “Parliamentary Procedure: Law, Privileges, Practice and Precedents” by Subash C Kashyap and “Practice and Procedure of Parliament” by M N Kaul and Shakdher.

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