In a first, Council Chairman speaks from the floor of the House

In a first, Council Chairman speaks from the floor of the House

In a first, Council Chairman speaks from the floor of the House

For the first time in its 110-year history, the Legislative Council on Thursday witnessed the Chairman speak from the floor of the House as a member.

Chairman D H Shankaramurthy arrived at 1 pm and occupied a chair in the second row in the Council, next to Opposition chief whip Capt Ganesh Karnik. Deputy Chairman Marithibbe Gowda conducted the proceedings. Soon after the Zero Hour, Marithibbe Gowda took up the resolution moved by the Congress to remove Shankaramurthy as Chairman.

Ramachandra Gowda and K B Shanappa (both BJP) said the resolution was not in order as no specific charges had been made against Shankaramurthy. This is in the interests of natural justice as Chairman can come prepared to reply to the charges, Shanappa said.

Marithibbe Gowda agreed but said he will allow V S Ugrappa of the Congress, who moved the resolution, to speak. “Do not make any charges without evidence. It amounts to lowering the dignity of the House and insulting the Chair,” he said.

Ugrappa charged that Shankaramurthy was biased when he conducted the proceedings of the House and gave  preference to only a few members. There has been corruption in the installation of Mahatma Gandhi statue between the Vidhana Soudha and the Vikasa Soudha, he said. However, he was cut short by Marithibbe Gowda who warned Ugrappa not to make charges without proper evidence. Ugrappa said he will resign if the charges are proved false.

Marithibbe Gowda then allowed Shankaramurthy to speak. Shankaramurthy said he discharged his duties as Chairman for the last six years (since 2010) sincerely and many leaders had praised him stating that his conduct had enhanced the dignity of the Chair.

He said his life was an open book and rubbished the charges made against him. Later, the resolution was put to vote after locking the doors of the House. The resolution was rejected by one vote.