Cong nominee becomes council chief; Furious JDS aspirant


Team Udayavani, Dec 13, 2018, 9:52 AM IST

Belagavi: Congress’ Prathap Chandra Shetty was Wednesday unanimously elected Karnataka Legislative Council chairman, with a miffed aspirant for the post from coalition partner JDS Basavaraj Horatti accusing the Congress of using chief minister H D Kumaraswamy as a “rubber stamp”.

Furious over being left out “at the last minute”, Horratti, who was the pro-tem Chairman, also alleged that the Congress party that is in alliance with JD(S) was not following the “coalition dharma”.

Four-time MLA from Kundapura and three-time MLC Prathap Chandra Shetty was elected, belying expectations that Horatti would occupy the post.

Horatti, a former minister, along with Congress’ S R Patil were considered as contestants until the grand old party sprung a surprise by nominating Shetty as its candidate.

“Violating coalition dharma, feeling that they (Congress) have the majority, they fielded their candidate…they did not listen to what party (JDS) leadership said,” Horatti said claiming that his party supremo H D Deve Gowda had also taken up the matter during his visit to Delhi recently.

Speaking to reporters, at ‘Suvarna Vidhana Soudha’ (the legislature complex) here where the winter session of the state legislature is on, he said, for the Congress, majority was “bigger” than “coalition dharma”.

Horatti said he had advised his party the JD(S) also, that the Chief Minister was just not limited to being a “rubber stamp” 

“Promise made while forming the government has not been followed, so they (JDS) will have to take a strong stand,” said adding whatever Congress had agreed from the appointment of principal secretaries to nomination of public representatives should be followed.

The former education minister also said he had told the Chief Minister not to become a rubber stamp for everything.

“Until today I was (pro-tem) Chairman, so could not speak more on such things, but now I don’t fear,” he said.

When specifically asked whether the Congress was trying to use the Chief Minister as its rubber stamp, Horatti responded “that is what happening.” 

JDS had to get the opportunity in the Council. “… until yesterday morning our party had asked me to file the nomination, but things changed at the last moment while filing the nomination,” he said.
Other key contender S R Patil of Congress too is said to be unhappy with the party choosing Shetty.

Patil along with Horatti claimed in the council that injustice was being meted out to north Karnataka to which they belong to as adequate representation was not given to the legislators from the region.

The coalition government had earlier witnessed disgruntlement among several Congress leaders over not finding a berth in the ministry.

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