Sanctity of pro-tem chairman’s decisions questioned in Upper House on Friday; Basavaraj Horatti threatens to resign
Meanwhile, angered by the exchange between the members of both parties, Horatti threatened to resign saying that he could take a decision about giving up office "in a second".
BENGALURU: The debate over the legal sanctity of decisions taken by the pro-tem chairman of the Legislative Council, consumed half of the day's proceedings in the Upper House, on Friday. Following a prolonged debate, pro-tem chairman Basavaraj Horatti held a media briefing explaining his responsibilities, and state government announced that elections for the post will be held before the end of the ongoing budget session. Earlier, irked by the 'politicisation of the issue', Horatti had also threatened to resign from the post.
As soon as the session began on Friday morning, BJP MLC Aayanur Manjunath questioned the sanctity of the decisions made by the pro-tem chairman, questioning whether he enjoyed the powers to approve the budget. He argued that since a chairman has not been elected and in the absence of a deputy chairman, the decisions taken by the pro-tem chairman, would be illegal. However, the claims by the opposition were disputed by Deputy chief minister G Parameshwara, who said that the appointment of the pro-tem chairman was made under Article 184 of the Indian constitution, and the post all the powers of an elected chairman.
Meanwhile, angered by the exchange between the members of both parties, Horatti threatened to resign saying that he could take a decision about giving up office "in a second". "However, I was refraining from it to save the dignity of the government," he added. Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Krishna Byre Gowda, reacting to the remark, said that while the powers of the pro-tem speaker were clear, the only debate should be about when the elections should be held.
During the ongoing debate, a remark made by Manjunath prompted Horatti to adjourn the session for ten minutes. Following the adjournment, Byre Gowda reiterated that the pro-tem speaker was a constitutional position and government would elect a chairman before the end of the session.The opposition leader, Kota Srinivas Poojary criticised the state government for the delay in issuing a notification for the election which would have avoided a controversy.
Horatti takes a dig at JD(S) leadership
Pro-tem chairman of the Legislative Council Basavaraj Horatti, took a dig at JD(S) leadership over its decision of inducting MLCs in the state cabinet. Responding to questions at a press meet, he said that it was wrong for parties to announce that they would not include MLCs. “Many ministers from the Union cabinet too are from Rajya Sabha,” he said. His remarks come in the wake of the decision by JD(S) leadership to not include him in the state cabinet. Speaking about whether he would contest polls for Council chairman, he said that he would follow the directions of the party leadership.