The 70-year-old has become the 24th Chairman of the Council. Shankarmurthy has a BSc degree and hails from Shimoga. His predecessor was Veeranna Mathikatti of the Congress. In the 75-member Council, the BJP has 41 members, the Congress 18, the JD (S) 14 and there are two independent MLCs. It was a foregone conclusion that the BJP would win the post.
Soon after getting elected, Shankarmurthy thanked all the members and declared that he would not give up the primary membership of BJP. “I do not want to resign from the party as I cannot imagine myself separated from it. However, as long as I occupy the chair, I will remain neutral and will abide by the duties as the Chairman,” he said. As per the rule book of the Legislature, a person who gets elected to the post of chairman, need not give up the primary membership of his/her party.
Puttanna, the acting chairman, conducted the election. He was led to the Chair by Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and Home Minister V S Acharya and leader of the Opposition Motamma.
Congratulating Shankarmurthy, the Chief Minister hoped that there will be no more dharnas and walkouts during his term as Chairman.