No-trust against DHS defeated

No-trust against DHS defeated

Congress resolution loses by one vote

No-trust against DHS defeated

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.
In the House of 75 members, one seat is vacant due to the demise of Vimala Gowda of the BJP.

At the time of voting,  74 members were present, and except the deputy chairman, the rest cast their vote. There was no cross-voting. All 33 Congress members voted in favour of the resolution.

Three Independents -
B S Suresh, Vivekrao Vasantrao Patil and M D Lakshminarayana - supported the Congress. Lakshminarayana was earlier with the BJP but quit the party after he fell out with B S Yeddyurappa.

No precedent
All the 23 BJP members and 12 JD(S) members voted against the resolution. Basanagouda Patil Yatnal and D U Mallikarjun supported the BJP-JD(S) combine. Yatnal was an active member of the BJP and was Union minister in the Vajpayee government. Mallikarjun, who was in the United States, flew back to Bengaluru to participate in the voting process.

Shankaramurthy, 77, is due to retire as Council member in June 2018. The full term of an MLC is six years. This is the first time in the history of the Legislative Council that a resolution was moved to remove the chairman. When the resolution was put to vote through headcount, Shankaramurthy was not in the chair. He was seated along with the BJP members. Deputy Chairman Marithibbe Gowda conducted the poll. He belongs to the JD(S).

Ugrappa, while moving the resolution against Shankaramurthy said, “The chairman has displayed RSS leaders’ portraits in the Council hall. But we have to fight to get his permission to display a portrait of Ambedkar. He is communal and corrupt. We have no confidence in him.” However, Ugrappa did not produce any document to back the accusation.

The entire process of voting lasted 25 minutes in the afternoon. Finally, the House witnessed Shankaramurthy being congratulated and the Congress members leaving the House unhappy.