BJP, JD(S) formalise pact to wrest Karnataka Legislative Council

The BJP will support senior JD(S) member Basavaraj Horatti in becoming the chairperson
Last Updated 27 January 2021, 15:37 IST

The BJP and JD(S) on Wednesday firmed up their alliance to take control of the Karnataka Legislative Council, the Upper House.

According to their arrangement, the BJP will help the JD(S) occupy the post of the Legislative Council chairperson. The JD(S) will return the favour by ceding the deputy chairperson’s seat to the saffron party, sources said.

The BJP will support senior JD(S) member Basavaraj Horatti in becoming the chairperson. The BJP’s nominee for the deputy chairperson’s post will be MK Pranesh, who will receive JD(S) backing. Pranesh will file his nomination papers on Thursday and elections to the deputy’s post are scheduled on January 29.

Earlier in the day, Horatti met Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to discuss the modalities of the alliance. Later, Yediyurappa held talks with BJP MLCs.

On Tuesday night, JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda chaired a meeting with the party’s legislature leader HD Kumaraswamy and 13 MLCs where it was decided to ally with the BJP.

“We decided to ask for the Council chairperson’s post and support the BJP in getting the deputy chairperson’s post. This is what I told the CM,” Horatti told reporters.

This development comes more than a month after the Council witnessed unprecedented drama when BJP and Congress members clashed over a no-trust motion against incumbent chairperson K Pratapachandra Shetty.

Shetty, a Congress member, was elected in 2018 with the help of the JD(S) when the two parties were in a coalition. Political equations have changed since then and the JD(S) is now looking to join hands with the BJP.

It is said that Shetty might step down soon after the deputy chairperson is elected.

During the December 15 commotion, Deputy Chairperson SL Dharmegowda of the JD(S), who was made to sit on Shetty’s chair, was heckled. About two weeks later, Dharmegowda died in a suspected case of suicide, vacating the deputy chairperson’s post.

“We don’t want the deputy chairperson’s post, so we won’t nominate anyone. I’m the senior-most in the House and it’s honourable for all parties that I get elected as chairperson. I'm cordial with everyone and I'm confident that I'll run the House well,” Horatti said.

According to Horatti, Gowda spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president JP Nadda. “Gowda made it clear that this one time I should get elected based on seniority. My biodata was sent to Nadda,” he said.

(Published 27 January 2021, 15:37 IST)

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