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Sudarshan elected Council Chairman

By Our Staff Reporter



V.R. Sudarshan (right) being congratulated by the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, after he was unanimously elected Chairman of the Legislative Council in Bangalore on Thursday. — Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

BANGALORE, MARCH 17. The Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council, V.R. Sudarshan, was today unanimously elected 21st Chairman of the Upper House, which is completing its centenary in 2007 and is one of the oldest legislative bodies in the country.

The post was vacant for one year and he was functioning as the acting Chairman.

The 49-year old Mr. Sudarshan was declared elected unanimously by M.R.Tanga, a senior member, who conducted the elections.

Mr. Sudarshan was the sole candidate to file the nominations, supported by the Leader of the Opposition, D.H. Shankara Murthy.

Mr. Sudarshan, a three-time MLC, belongs to an OBC (Ganiga).

He was informed about his unanimous election by the Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, H.K. Patil, Mr. Shankara Murthy, and the Government Chief Whip, Salim Ahmed.

Mr. Sudarshan was awaiting the announcement of his election in the lounge.

Later, they along with the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, the Water Resources Minister and Leader of the House, M. Mallikarjun Kharge, and the Janata Dal (U) leader, M.P. Nadagouda, escorted Mr. Sudarshan to the Chair.

Second from Kolar

Mr. Sudarshan, who hails from Vemagal in Kolar district, is the second leader from that district to become Chairman of the House of Elders. The former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, M.V. Venkatappa, had been elected to the post at the age of 42 in 1974.

Mr. Sudarshan began his political career in the Janata Party as a protégé of the late Janata Dal President, C. Byre Gowda. He held several positions such as the president of the Vemagal Milk Cooperative Society, member of the Judicial Department Recruitment Committee, convenor of the Yuva Janata Party, and was first elected to the Legislative Council in 1988.

Mr. Sudarshan, who joined the Karnataka Congress Party when the former Chief Minister, S. Bangarappa, launched it and got re-elected to the Upper House in 1994, joined the Congress when the latter returned to that party.

He was re-elected for the third time in 2000 as a Congress nominee.

A member of the All-India Congress Committee, Mr. Sudarshan became the Deputy Chairman of the Council in 2003 and had served on many legislative committees on various subjects and select committees.

He had also served as a member of the Senate of Bangalore and Mangalore universities.

Congratulating him, the Chief Minister was happy that a good parliamentarian has become the Chairman at a comparatively young age. Mr. Singh said that Mr. Kharge and he had realised the potential and parliamentary talents of Mr. Sudarshan.

Mr. Kharge said that there were six aspirants for the post, but finally it went to him. In fact, all the members, including those from the Opposition are with him, he added.

Mr. Patil hoped that Mr. Sudarshan will climb up the ladder further like his predecessors such as S. Mallikarjunaiah and K. Rahman Khan, who became Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha respectively. Dr. Tanga (BJP) said in a lighter vein that though he is happy that Mr. Sudarshan rose to the highest post, the ruling party has lost an active member, who enriched the proceedings of the House.

The Small Savings, Lotteries and Science and Technology Minister Basavaraj Horatti, Mr. Salim Ahmed, Dr. Nadagouda, Jalaja Naik, Hasanabba, Umashree, Arun Machaiah, Vimala Gowda, Srikanthe Gowda and L.Hanumanthaiah also congratulated him.

In his reply, Mr. Sudarshan thanked the leaders of all the parties and the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, the Congress President, Sonia Gandhi, the Janata Dal (S) President, H.D. Deve Gowda, the KPCC President, B. Janardhana Poojary, Mr. Dharam Singh and the Maharashtra Governor, S.M. Krishna, for his election. He assured that he will uphold constitution and dignity of the House.

Mr. Sudarshan said that though he cannot celebrate his election on account of the death of his wife, Pushpa, three months ago, he is happy on his elevation.

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