Cong fields Oscar’s man for Council chair

Cong fields Oscar’s man for Council chair

Congress member Prathap Chandra Shetty files nomination papers for the post of chairperson of Legislative Council in Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, Belagavi on Tuesday. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committe preident Dinesh Gundu Rao and Deputy Chief Minister G Par

In a surprise move, senior Congress member K Prathap Chandra Shetty filed his nomination for the post of Legislative Council chairperson on Tuesday, while no one from the JD(S) made a bid.

This is widely seen as an attempt to undermine Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah, whose confidant S R Patil was at the forefront to bag the coveted post till Tuesday morning, hours before the deadline to file nominations.

Shetty, a four-time MLA from Kundapura and third-time MLC, is said to enjoy the support of veteran Congress leader Oscar Fernandes. Speaking to reporters, Shetty said he was not a contender for the post. “But the party has given me the responsibility and I will carry it out effectively.”

“Patil was supposed to file his candidature, but Shetty was asked to file his papers at the last minute,” a Congress MLC said. Patil, a former minister, played a key role in ensuring Siddaramaiah’s victory at Badami in the May assembly polls. Hence, Siddaramaiah
pushed for his candidature.

Eye on coastal votes

“Shetty’s nomination is expected to help the party in the coastal regions in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls,” another Congress MLC explained. Alliance partners Congress and JD(S) were parleying for the Council chairperson’s post. Pro tem chairperson, Basavaraj Horatti of the JD(S), was tipped to contest for the post, but that was not to be. Horatti is now said to be in line for a Cabinet position.