'Edgy' Shankaramurthy meets Deve Gowda

'Edgy' Shankaramurthy meets Deve Gowda

The Legislative Council Chairman D H Shankaramurthy’s meeting with JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda on Monday sparked fresh speculations.

Shankaramurthy met Gowda at his residence and spent  considerable time with the former. Rumours were rife that Shankaramurthy is concerned that his term as the Council chairman might end abruptly, owing to a series of political developments in the recent past.

Shankaramurthy, a BJP leader, was unanimously elected chairman of the Upper House on July 5, 2010. With the support of the BJP and JD(S) he has managed to continue in the post even after the Congress came to power in the state.

However, following the recent elections to the Council from the Assembly and the local bodies, the Congress’ numbers in the Council have increased. The Congress’ numbers will further go up when three members are nominated to the House.

While there is talk about the Congress’ attempts to get senior party leader and former minister S R Patil elected to the coveted post, Shankaramurthy is edgy because of the rebellion in the JD(S). Two of the JD(S) MLCs - Puttanna and Sandesh Nagaraj are upset with the party leadership. If at all the Congress manages to get their votes and also those of three Independents, then Shankaramurthy may have to step down as numbers will be against him. This despite the JD(S) and the BJP enjoying the support of Independent MLCs D U Mallikarjun and Basavaraj Patil Yatnal.

Currently, the BJP has 23 members, while the Congress has 30 members. The JD(S) has 12 members, and there are five Independents in the 75-member House. Four seats are vacant.

Shankaramurthy dismissed the reports about the intent behind his meeting with Gowda. “I know and respect Gowda and I frequently visit him. As I had not been able to meet him during his birthday recently, I decided to call upon him. The BJP and JD(S) have sufficient numbers for me to continue,” he added.

Gowda too said that he hadn’t discussed politics with Shankaramurthy.

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