Cong stage dharna over election to Chairman post

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Bangalore, Jul 23 (UNI) Congress members in the Karnataka Legislative Council, led by Leader of the Opposition Viranna Mathikatti, today staged a dharna in the Well of the House, demanding that the government announce the date for election to the post of chairman.

Raising the issue immediately after lunch break, K C Kondaiah of the Congress said Mr N C Thippanna, appointed by the Governor, had no power to conduct the proceedings and the government should announce the date for election to the post, which fell vacant after Prof B K Chandrasekhar retired on June 30.

Senior Janata Dal (Secular) leader M C Nanaiah said a pro-term Chairman's power was restricted to administering oath to the new members and the government should conduct election to appoint the Chairman for conducting the House proceedings.

Leader of the House and Home Minister V S Acharya clarified that Mr Thippanna was appointed as officiating Chairman by Governor Rameshwar Thakur and not as pro-term Chairman. He said he would give a reply on the matter after discussing it with Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa.

Not satisfied with the reply, the Congress members assembled at the well, following which the Officiating Chairman adjourned the House for 15 minutes.

When the House reassembled, Mr Nanaiah alleged that the government, by delaying the announcement of the election date, had ''failed'' to maintain the decorum of the House and the Chairman.

He suggested that the Leader of the House announce the date for election by tomorrow.

Dr Acharya in his reply said as per the Constitution, the Chairman had to be elected only before the commencement of the next session and he would announce the date after consulting the Chief Minister tomorrow.

Even after his assurance, the Opposition members continued their dharna. Mr Thippanna adjourned the House for the day.

UNI MSP AKJ NS1958

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