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Impasse may end soon

S. Rajendran

Congress offers proposal on election of Chairman


Proposal
  • Congress candidate will hold Chairman's post till June
  • JD(S)-BJP nominee can take over when coalition gets majority

    Bangalore: The Legislative Council is likely to a have Congress party nominee as Chairman for a brief period of about five months.

    Sources in the Government told The Hindu here on Thursday that some top Congress leaders had sent a proposal to the ruling coalition partners — the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Bharatiya Janata Party — which was being considered. The Congress has suggested that a way of the impasse would be to have a Congress candidate as Chairman for a brief period. Later, when the JD(S)-BJP combine gets a majority in the Upper House after some members retire and others are nominated in their place, the coalition could have their candidate as Chairman.

    The Congress party nominee will have to be one who will be among those whose term will end in about five months.

    For the seventh day running, the Council has been in a limbo with the Congress refusing to acknowledge the officiating chairman, N. Thippanna. The post of Chairman has been vacant for nearly nine months after V.R. Sudarshan retired. He was re-elected to the House in the biennial elections.

    In the 75-seat Council, the Congress has 40 members. The JD(S) and the BJP, with the support of the JD(U) and others, number 35. Five nominated members will retire in June, and the coalition Government will be able to nominate five members, reversing the current position.

    The coalition partners want a categorical assurance that the Congress nominee should be one of the five who will be retiring in June so that their candidate can take over after five new members are nominated in June. It is now up to the Congress to give such an assurance.

    Rajya Sabha secretary-general Yogendra Narain has explained the constitutional position to Council secretary K. Jayashankarmurthy, who had sought a clarification on the status of an officiating Chairman and the steps that needed to be taken in the absence of the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman.

    MLCs meet Antony

    All the 40 Congress MLCs led by Leader of the Opposition in the legislative Council H.K. Patil on Thursday called on AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka A.K. Antony, who is in Bangalore. They explained to him what they described as "the unconstitutional and undemocratic steps" being taken by the Government to prevent an election to the post of Chairman.

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