Karnataka BJP Inches Closer to JD(S), Wins Council Post

BJP MLC M K Pranesh was elected deputy chairman of Legislative Council. Next up, JD(S) may get chairman post.

2 min read
BJP’s BS Yediyurappa.

On 29 January Bharatiya Janata Party’s Chikkamangaluru MLC MK Pranesh got unanimously elected to the deputy chairman post in the Karnataka Legislative Council.

The post had fallen vacant after SL Dharmegowda, the former incumbent allegedly died by suicide in 2020.

Pranesh was elected after KC Kondaiah, Indian National Congress’s candidate from Bellari, withdrew his candidature from the fray.

BJP winning the seat is believed to be a precursor to Janata Dal (Secular)‘s next political move. JD(S) wants to bag the Council chairman’s post with the support of BJP, Congress party insiders told The Quint. Karnataka’s political circles since late 2020 have been abuzz with claims that JD(S), a former Congress ally, has gone soft on the BJP. 

Congress Wants to Out JD(S)-BJP Link

The BJP led by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has 31 seats in the 75 member strong Legislative Council.  The Congress has 29 and JD(S) has 13.

An alliance between the BJP and JD(S) could end up weakening the Congress in the house.

BJP has already served a notice to move a no-confidence motion against the House chairman and Congress leader K Pratap Shetty. The motion is expected to be moved on 2 February.

The Karnataka Assembly and Council began their current joint session on 28 January.

“Chairman Shetty may resign before 2 February. If not, he will face a no-confidence motion. The Congress would want him to wait it out and face the motion because if the JD(S) backs BJP in the motion and votes out Shetty, the informal tie-up between the parties will come out,” a political analyst said.

If Shetty gets ousted, BJP is expected to back JD(S) MLC Basavaraj Horatti for the chairman’s post.

This week Horatti supported the anti-cattle slaughter bill which the BJP had tabled and passed in the Legislative Assembly in December 2020. However, on 28 January he took a U-turn and opposed the bill before media persons.

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