BENGALURU: In a major embarrassment to the ruling Congress, the no-confidence motion moved by the party to oust the Chairman of the Legislative Council was defeated by a united opposition by a solitary vote on Thursday.
The JD(S) upset Congress plans of removing Council Chairman D H Shankaramurthy by voting along with BJP against the motion. BJP veteran Shankaramurthy secured 37 votes, including 23 of the BJP, 12 of the JD(S) and two votes of the five independents in the 75-member Council. Congress could muster 36 votes, including 33 of its own and three independents. Deputy chairman Marithibbe Gowda (JDS) did not vote as he was occupying the chair.
Uncertainty prevailed right until voting, as JD(S) kept both Congress and BJP guessing. In fact, most JD(S) members were huddled in meetings even after Question Hour was over.
For the Congress, some lessons were learnt: that it cannot take JD(S) support for granted, that it needs a strategy in place and that rumblings within the party on the unilateral stand taken by Siddaramaiah aide V S Ugrappa, who initiated the motion, need to be addressed.
JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy said they had defeated 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,” he said.
He also said the Congress did not consult them about filing a motion on the removal of the Chairman.
“In the morning, KPCC chief G Parameshwara offered to install Basavaraj Horatti as the Chairman, if they won the vote. But we decided to keep our pact with BJP,” he said.