Bengaluru: While there is hectic lobbying in both the Janata Dal (S) and Congress for ministerial berths in the H.D Kumaraswamy Cabinet, the former is silently pushing for party MLC, Basavaraj Horatti to take over as Chairman of the Legislative Council.
Mr Horatti is reportedly not keen on the post himself, but is being persuaded to pitch for it once incumbent Chairman, D.H. Shankarmurthy of the BJP demits office next month.
Going by the present strength of the Congress and JD(S), the combine can corner the posts of both Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Upper House. Currently, the BJP has the Chairman's post and the JD(S), the Deputy Chairman's.
With the JD(S) having backed the Congress on the Speaker's post, the Congress may not object to it bagging the post of Council Chairman and settle for the deputy Chairman's post, going by sources .
Not many can object to Mr. Horatti either as he is not only a senior member of the JD(S), but also an experienced former Minister, who effectively handled the Primary and Secondary Education, Law and Science and Technology portfolios in the previous coalition government headed by the late Dharam Singh.
When contacted, Mr. Horatti said he had heard reports about his party choosing him for the Legislative Council Chairman post, but he himself had not demanded any post or tried for a Cabinet berth in the present government, "It is left to the party to utilise my services. As there is a coalition government in place, the party needs someone experienced to defend it inside and outside the House. As Education Minister I did a lot of work and people have not forgotten it," he added.
Of the 75 seats in the Legislative Council, the BJP had 22 until recently, but its numbers have now fallen to 11 and the combined Congress and JD(S) strength has increased to 39. As many as 24 seats are vacant following the retirement of some members and resignation of others who have been elected to the Assembly.
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