Karnataka: Unseating Shankaramurthy JD(S) may wreck Congress hopes

Congress's no-confidence motion hinges on Independent MLCs.

Bengaluru: The Congress strategy to replace the Legislative Council chairman D.H. Shankaramurthy may have been made with the best of intentions – install one of their own party men in the seat and take back control of the Upper House. But making the move without consulting the JD(S) or the independents could backfire, as until late last night, despite back-room negotiations, the JD(S) looked unlikely to support the motion, raising the prospect of Mr Shankaramurthy continuing as chairman of the house!

Sources in the JD(S) have told Deccan Chronicle that the quid pro quo for their support is for the Congress to hand over the post to the opposition party! Negotiations are continuing even as the date for the vote has been set for Thursday.

The Congress party gave a no-confidence motion petition a day after council chairman, D.H. Shankaramurthy served notices on eight of the Congress MLCs and two JD (S) members for their alleged travel allowance scam. Precisely for this reason, the JD(S) believes that the Congress's petition does not look bona fide. The Congress' failure to consult the JD (S) before giving the notice only complicated matters further. So, the JD(S) may not back the Congress' motion, sources in the party said.

However, in the event that the Congress pulls off the no-confidence motion, the victory may prove Pyrrhic and present a fresh set of problems as three leaders including Allum Veerabhadrappa and K.C. Kondaiah as well as Pratap Chandra Shetty are in the race along with V.S. Ugrappa and Motamma who aspire to become council chairperson.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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