Shankaramurthy's fate now hinges on JD(S) support

Shankaramurthy's fate now hinges on JD(S) support

Shankaramurthy's fate now hinges  on  JD(S) support

 The continuation of D H Shankaramurthy as Legislative Council Chairman will depend on the JD(S).
The Council on Tuesday had admitted a notice by the ruling Congress seeking to move a resolution to remove Shankaramurthy.

The resolution (commonly referred to as no-confidence motion) against Shankaramurthy will be taken up immediately after question hour on Thursday. To oust the chairman, the Congress needs the support of 38 members. The party has 36 members on its side, including the support of three independents, and is falling short of two crucial votes. 

The BJP has 23 members, including the chairman. Congress and BJP leaders have held talks with JD(S) State President H D Kumaraswamy seeking the support of the party. But, the JD(S) is playing its cards close to its chest, keeping the two national parties on tenterhooks.

Both BJP and Congress leaders have stated that they are confident of getting the support of the JD(S). The JD(S) has asked its MLCs to assemble in the party office in Vidhana Soudha at 9 am on Thursday, where a final call on whom to support will be taken, sources said.

If the JD(S) decides to support the resolution, then Shankaramurthy will have no option but to resign. On the other hand, if the JD(S) decides to oppose the move, then the combined strength of the BJP and the JD(S) will be 36 bringing it on par with the Congress.

The votes of two independents - Basavaraj Patil Yatnal and M D Lakshminarayana - who have no affiliation with any party, will be crucial. All three parties on Wednesday issued whip to their members stating that it is mandatory to be present in the House on Thursday.

There was also speculation on Wednesday that in case the JD(S) decides to support the Congress, some of its members may abstain from voting.

Meanwhile, MLC D U Mallikarjun, who got elected to the Council with the support of the BJP and JD(S) MLAs in 2014, is returning from the United States on Wednesday night. The BJP is banking on his support. According to rules, Shankaramurthy cannot preside over the House when the resolution is taken up. However, he can participate in the proceedings and even cast his vote.

Shankaramurthy presided over the House proceedings for just one hour on Wednesday.

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