BJP-JD(S) to join hands for Legislative Council Chairman and Dy Chairman post in Karnataka

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(Eds: adding details) Bengaluru, Jan 27 (PTI) After several rounds of discussions, the ruling BJP on Wednesday decided to join hands with the JD(S) for the post of Karnataka Legislative Council Chairman and Deputy Chairman.

As per the arrangement, BJP will support JD(S) for the Chairman's post, while the regional party will return the favour by ceding the Deputy Chairman's post, top party sources said.

While senior JD(S) MLC Basavaraj Horatti will be the nominee for the Chairman's post, the BJP is fielding M K Pranesh for the post of Deputy Chairman.

Pranesh will file his nomination papers on Thursday and the election to the Deputy Chairmans post is scheduled on January 29.

The decision to support JD(S) for the Chairman's post and to field Pranesh as BJP's nominee for Deputy Chairman was arrived at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa with party MLCs and a few senior Ministers.

Earlier in the day Horatti met Yediyurappa in this regard and sought the BJP's support.

JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda has already spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president J P Nadda seeking the ruling party's support, he had said.

'I met the Chief Minister. Yesterday our (JDS) 13 MLCs, H D Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy (party leader and former CM) had held discussions, and we have decided to ask for council Chairman post and to support them (BJP) for the Deputy Chairman post,' Horatti said.

Speaking to reporters here after meeting Yediyurappa, he said 'I'm the senior member in the House (council) and there is a general opinion among everyone that I should be made (the Chairman).

...so we are asking for the Chairman's post and will support them (BJP) for that of Deputy Chairman.' The election for the post of Chairman and Deputy Chairman will take place during the joint session of the state legislature, beginning from Thursday.

There are all indications that the incumbent Chairman K Pratapachandra Shetty, who is from the Congress, may resign soon, as the ruling BJP has moved a no-confidence motion against him, which is likely to be supported by the JD (S).

The post of the Deputy Chairman has fallen vacant following JD(S)' S L Dharme Gowda's alleged death by suicide last month.

Noting that discussions have taken place with the Prime Minister and Nadda, Horatti said Deve Gowda has told them that he (Horatti) should be given a chance as Chairman of the upper house, considering his seniority.

'Nadda had asked for my bio-data, which has been sent. He has told Gowda that their decision will be communicated to the party (BJP) state president,' he said earlier today.

According to BJP sources, the ruling party agreed to support Horatti in return for the regional party's support in its move to oust Shetty and ensure passage of certain key bills.

The earlier move by both parties in December to remove Shetty as Chairman was not successful as their notice of no- confidence was rejected on technical grounds.

The House had witnessed high drama that day with BJP-JDS and Congress members hurling abuses and pushing each other.

Amid the ruckus on December 15, the then Deputy Chairman Dharme Gowda was even pulled down from the Chair.

Currently the ruling BJP is the single largest party in the Council with 31 seats, followed by Congress with 29, including the chairman, JD(S) 13, one independent and one vacant (due to death of Dharme Gowda). PTI KSU APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR