Karnataka: Independents have key role to play in saving Shankaramurthy

BJP in touch with Yatnal, Mallikarjun to garner support for defeating Congress motion.

Bengaluru: Two independent members are likely to play a decisive role in the victory or defeat of the no confidence motion moved by ruling Congress members seeking the removal of incumbent chairman of the Legislative Council D.H. Shankaramurthy, which is likely to be taken up on Thursday.

The support of Basavanagouda Patil Yatnal and D.U. Mallikarjun are vital for both the Congress and the BJP. Mr Yatnal was reportedly not on good terms with Mr Shankaramurthy, but he had been asked by state BJP President B.S. Yeddyurappa to vote against the motion. Mr Yatnal, after quitting the BJP due to differences of opinion with BJP leaders, had won the Council election independently. Yeddyurappa is learnt to have advised Yatnal to bury differences and support the BJP.

The saffron party is also said to be in touch with Mr Mallikarjun who has already left the USA to fly back and is likely to arrive here in the early hours of Thursday.

Meanwhile, in a late evening development, Janata Dal (Secular) national president H.D. Deve Gowda and party state unit chief H D Kumaraswamy are learnt to have favored continuation of their 'Dosti' with the BJP in the Upper House. If the JD(S) sticks to its stand, the no confidence motion could be defeated.

JD(S) spokesperson Ramesh Babu told Deccan Chronicle that both 'Appaji' (Deve Gowda) and Kumaranna had given their consent to continue the alliance with BJP. A group of JD(S) MLCs told Mr Gowda and Mr Kumaraswamy about the necessity to continue the current alliance as joining hands with the Congress may send the wrong signals in an election year.

What the numbers say
In the 75-member House, Congress has 33 members, followed by BJP with 23, JD(S) 13, and five independents. One seat is vacant due to the demise of Ms Vimala Gowda recently. Of the five independents, three members-Mr Bhairati Suresh, Mr M.D. Laxminarayan and Mr Vivekrao Patil are identified with the Congress. Mr Yatnal and Mr Mallikarjun are likely to support the BJP-JD(S) alliance. The motion will be passed if 38 members vote in its favor. In case of a tie-the chairman will use his veto power.

The story so far in a nutshell

  • First Mr Shankaramurthy served notices on eight Congress and two JD (S) members seeking an explanation on the alleged Travel Allowance(TA) scam
  • A day later, the Congress served a no confidence motion against Mr Shankaramurthy
  • Congress wants the chairman post so does JD(S)
  • JD (S) which holds the deputy chairman post, will not gain if it supports the Congress to make a Congressman the chairman
  • Mr Kumaraswamy is upset because the Congress did not hold talks with him
( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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