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Ousting DH Shankarmurthy: Battlelines drawn

Published Jun 14, 2017, 3:17 am IST
Updated Jun 14, 2017, 7:04 am IST
Council chairman Shankaramurthy allows Cong motion for removing him to be tabled, voting in five days.
A file photo of Legislative Council Chairman D.H. Shankaramurthy and CM Siddaramaiah receiving Governor Vajubhai Vala in Vidhana Soudha
 A file photo of Legislative Council Chairman D.H. Shankaramurthy and CM Siddaramaiah receiving Governor Vajubhai Vala in Vidhana Soudha

Bengaluru: The ruling Congress, which has a majority in the state Legislative Council, on Tuesday set into motion its move to remove  Chairman D.H. Shankarmurthy of the BJP and install a member of its own in his place.

Mr Shankaramurthy informed the House soon after question hour and zero hour that Congress members, V S Ugrappa,  Sharanappa Mattur,  K C Kondaiah,  K Abdul Jabbar,  M A Gopalaswamy,  R Prasanna Kumar and  H M Revanna had moved a no confidence motion against him under rule 165 of the rules and procedures of the state legislature and 183 (C) of the Constitution. He explained that the motion would be admissible if more than 10 persons stood up to support it and if it was specific in its charges and did not contain merely arguments, inferences or defamatory statements.


Quoting from the "Procedure of Parliament" by M S Kaul and S N Shakdhar, which said that,  " In as much as the charges are not specific, are not clearly and precisely expressed and do not raise one definite issue of which due notice has been given, the resolution would be prima facie out of order," he maintained that  the no confidence motion moved by Mr Ugrappa and others made no specific charges against him and was therefore not tenable and against the principles of natural justice. "Despite this, as I strongly believe in the tenets of the Constitution , I am permitting the tabling of the motion only to uphold the dignity and decorum of the House," he added.

In response, all Congress members, including a few independents, stood up  to support the motion and Mr Revanna read out the letter submitted to the office of the Chairman on May 30 seeking his removal.

Mr Shankarmurthy later announced that going by the rules, the voting on the no confidence motion would take place within five days from now.

They’re setting a bad precedent, says DHS
Calling the no-confidence motion moved against him as unprecedented in the 70 years of the Upper House,  Legislative Council Chairman, D.H. Shankaramurthy on Tuesday said never had such a step been taken against the incumbent presiding officer without  reason.

"This will set a bad precedent in years to come," he warned, speaking to reporters, who met him after the motion was tabled. " I would have considered quitting had the Congress members approached me with a letter saying they wanted the post as they enjoyed a majority in the House. I became the Chairman due to an understanding between the  BJP and Janata Dal (Secular). The Congress party has no moral right to demand my resignation," he asserted, claiming that CM Siddaramaiah, the previous ruling party leader , S R Patil and incumbent ruling party leader, Dr G Parameshwar had in the past even complimented him on conducting the House without bias.

"It's unfortunate that it has become  child's play do such things without bothering about future consequences," he contended. " Besides, it is my prerogative to fix any day within five days after tabling of the motion for a debate and voting," he pointed out. To unseat him the Congress would need 38 votes in a  House of  75.

Location: India, Karnataka