BENGALURU: In a major embarrassment to the Congress in Karnataka, its motion to oust Legislative Council chairman D H Shankarmurthy of the BJP was defeated Thursday.
The resolution was defeated by one vote with the BJP winning 37 votes supported by the JD(S) and three Independents. The Congress won 36 votes.
Independent members Basanagouda Patil Yatnal and D U Mallikarjun voted with the BJP. The latter, who was on a US visit, hurried back Wednesday night to take part in the vote.
Tension and uncertainty prevailed right up to the time of voting, as Janata Dal (S) members kept both the BJP and the Congress on tenterhooks with conflicting signals.
After the vote, JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy said his party voted to defeat the "opportunistic politics" of the Congress.
"Two years ago, we had made a pact with the BJP to work together, and we have stood with them accordingly," he said.
Kumaraswamy added that the Congress did not consult JD(S) before filing the motion to remove the chairman.
Before the vote, Congress MLC V Ugrappa accused chairman Shankarmurthy of corruption, violation of constitutional principles, nepotism and partisan behaviour.
Some of the specific charges made against Shankarmurthy were expunged from the record by deputy chairman Marithibbe Gowda who was in the chair. He instructed Ugrappa not to make allegations without documentary proof and evidence.
Later, Shankarmurthy claimed that allegations made against him were baseless. "Reacting to them is like throwing stones on muck. I will not be ordering any inquiry into these allegations," he said.