Congress gamble to oust Karnataka Legislative Council Chairman backfires

A no-confidence motion has been moved by the ruling Congress party. In the history of the Legislative Council of the Karnataka Assembly, which was established in 1907, there has never been a situation where a no-trust vote had to be moved against the Council chairman.

Now one seat is vacant following the death of BJP MLC Vimala Gowda.

Once the no-confidence motion notice is moved, the motion needs to be supported by at least five members in the House. Failing to come up with an effective strategy, Congress's no-trust motion secured only 36 votes compared to the 37 votes against the motion.

All 13 MLCs of JD (S) and two independents voted against the motion, leaving the Congress one short of the number required to oust Shankaramurthy and install a candidate of its own. The Congress was also unable to enlist the support of two Independents, who too opposed the motion. The deputy chairman's post is held by senior JD (S) MLC Marithibbe Gowda.

Ramachandra Gowda and K B Shanappa (both BJP) said the resolution was not in order as no specific charges had been made against Shankaramurthy.

The result of Thursday's no-confidence motion to oust Chairman of the Legislative Council D H Shankaramurthy brought to the fore an interesting development in Janata Dal (Secular): state unit president H D Kumaraswamy taking a call on backing the BJP though his father and patriarch H D Deve Gowda chose to stick to the policy of staying equi-distant from both national parties.

Stating that KPCC President G Parameshwara had offered his party the chairman's post this morning ahead of the trust vote, he said the Congress was indulging in "political opportunism".

Deputy Chairman Maritibbe Gowda, who presided over the proceedings, declared that the "motion is rejected".

Stating that it was his privilege to work as Chairman of the Karnataka Legislative Council, he claimed he has functioned in a non-partisan and responsible manner.

Siddaramaiah and his team that he was the real boss in JD (S). "This way, no one knows which way he will jump and that gives him the upper hand in a post-poll scenario", a JD (S) insider said.

  • Joanne Flowers