Politics apart, Prathap Chandra Shetty is the new council chairman
Belagavi: As the ruling coalition pummel through the Opposition within its own party and ally JD(S), with the nomination of 3 times MLC from Udupi-Dakshina Kannada Prathap Chandra Shetty, the principal opposition BJP declared its support to the candidate of its own volition and ensured an unanimous decision to elect the new chairman unopposed.
However, soon after Shetty (69) took charge of the post, the disappointment among two front runners for the post JD(S) MLC and former pro-tem speaker Basavaraj Horratti and Congress senior MLC and former minister S R Patil was obvious in their statements claiming injustice was being meted out to north Karnataka by not giving adequate representation to the legislators from those parts of the state.
While both denied any aspirations and blamed the media for creating an impression of a race for the chairman post, Horratti and Patil said representation through constitutional posts like that of the chairman of council, speaker of the assembly, deputy chief minister post or the chief minister post could have boosted the morale of the N-K region.
“I never aspired for the chair and it was only a media creation. However, with the legislature session happening in Belagavi, it would be wrong on my part if I did not admit that injustice has been meted out to this part of the state with no adequate representation for the people of the 13 districts in seats of power,” said Patil.
Reinforcing this, and giving credence to the claims that the high command of JD(S) and Congress had chosen the middle path by denying two strong contenders for the post and opting for a “dark horse”, Horratti admitted that he had “hoped” to continue in the post as a permanent chairman but his dream was cut short.
“There is nothing wrong in aspiring, we are no saints. But I did not lobby for it. I had hoped to become the permanent Chairman of the Council for the welfare of north Karnataka, as put aptly by my colleague S R Patil, but it did not happen. But I would consider it my good fortune that I got to sit in the Chair for a few months as pro-tem chairman and did as much as I could,” said Horratti.
Earlier in the day, punning on the fact that the opposition leader Kota Srinivas Poojari, leader of the house and minister Jayamala and the newly elected chairman Prathap Chandra Shetty were all from the coastal districts, deputy chief minister G Parameshwara, law minister Krishna Byre Gowda and others indulged in a friendly banter by citing it was truly the best example of “adjustment” politics.