Bengaluru, Feb 9 (PTI) Senior JD(S) MLC Basavaraj Horatti was on Tuesday elected as the Chairman of the Karnataka Legislative Council, amid protests by Congress over the passage of 'anti cow slaughterbill' in the House.
Horatti, a seven time MLC, who represents Karnataka west teachers constituency, was declared 'unanimously' elected, as the opposition Congress that was protesting from the well of the house, did not propose the name of its candidate Naseer Ahmed, during the election process.
Horatti(74) armed with Bachelor of Arts and Master of Physical Education qualification, began his career as a physical education teacher in Hubballi.
He has been a member of the Council for nearly 40 years now, starting from 1980.
He had served as the Chairman (acting) of the Council from June 22 to December 12, 2018.
As the House met for the day, Congress legislators trooped into the well of the House against the passage of the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill in the council in a 'hurry' through a voice vote, and alleged that it was despite them demanding for division of votes.
Raising the issue as Deputy Chairman M K Pranesh was about to start today's business, Congress MLC Naseer Ahmed said the passage of the bill on Monday despite us seeking for division was against the rules.
Several Congress MLCs including M Narayanaswamy, B K Hariprasad too joined, insisting that they sought for division, and demanded a ruling from the Chair.
However, defending the passageof the bill, Home, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Basavaraj Bommai said it was passed as per rules and no one sought a division, as he pointed out that all Congress MLCs were in the well when the bill was getting passed.
'There is nothing in the records too.' The Deputy Chairman said he will get the records and examine them, as he asked Congress legislators to go back to their seats and allow the House to function and cooperate during the Chairman election process.
Despite this, Congress MLCs insisted that the Chair examine the CCTV and television camera footage first and adjourn the house for some time.
'First a ruling should be given on this, subsequently the Chairman election can be taken up,' Narayanaswamy said.
As the Congress MLCs continued with their protest from the well, the Deputy Chairman took up the Chairman's election process.
After JD(S) MLCs proposed Horatti's name for the Chairman post, Congress legislators did not turn up at their seats to propose their candidate Naseer Ahmed's name.
Following this the Deputy Chairman declared that Basavaraj Horatti has been elected as the Chairman of the Legislative Council 'unanimously'.
Both Horatti, supported by JD(S) and BJP, and Congress' Naseer Ahmed had filed their nominations on Monday.
The election was necessitated following the resignation of Congress'K Prathapachandra Shetty as the Chairman on February 4 to preempt a no-confidence motion against him by the ruling BJP, and JD(S) extending support to it.
Horratti's election was certain as BJP and JD(S) had joined hands for the Council Chairman and Deputy Chairman post.
As per the arrangement BJP MLC M K Pranesh was on January 29 elected as the Deputy Chairman with the backing of JD(S), and now the ruling party returned the favour by supporting the regional party nominee, Horatti.
According to JD(S) sources, party supremo H D Deve Gowda had earlier even spoken to BJP national President JP Nadda seeking support for Horatti.
BJP sources said the party agreed to support Horatti as Chairman instead of seeking the post for itself in return for JD(S)' support in its move to oust Shetty and passage of certain key bills.
The earlier move by both parties in December to remove Congress' 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 the BJP-JD(S) and Congress members hurling abuses and pushing each other.
Amid the ruckus on December 15, the then Deputy Chairman Dharme Gowda, who is now no more, 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, JD(S) 13 (including Horatti), one independent and one vacant (due to death of Dharme Gowda). PTI KSU ROH ROH