The Karnataka Legislative Council is scheduled to convene on December 15, Tuesday, when the state government will attempt to pass pending bills, including the controversial anti-cow slaughter amendment bill, an official said on Sunday. "The state legislative secretariat issued an order on late Saturday convening the Council session on Tuesday to discuss and pass pending bills," the official told IANS.
The ruling BJP on Friday petitioned state Governor Vajubhai Vala to direct Council Chairman Prathap Chandra Shetty to reconvene the winter session, which he abruptly adjourned 'sine die' on December 12, taking the treasury benches by surprise. The state Legislative Assembly passed the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020, on December 9, without a debate after members from the opposition parties, Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), walked out in protest against it.
Though the week-long winter session of the state legislature was to be held from December 7-15, Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Kageri Hegde adjourned the lower House on December 10 at the behest of the members, who wanted to be in their constituencies ahead of the local body elections on December 22-27.
The Council is also expected to take up the no-confidence motion the BJP has moved against Shetty, a Congress legislator, as the ruling party commands a majority in the 75-member Upper House. BJP's leader in the Council Kota Srinivas Poojary requested Shetty to move the motion against him on December 11. Instead, Shetty adjourned the House on December 10 after declining to allow the motion, as it required a 14-day prior notice. "In our view, as the Council chairman (Shetty) does not enjoy the confidence of the House, he cannot adjourn the session abruptly when a motion against him and important bills have to be passed," said Poojary.
The ruling BJP also claimed that a no-confidence motion against the Chairman was given on November 11, which meets the 14-day notice period. Hence, he (Shetty) was bound to allow it (motion) to be tabled in the House during its winter session.
Shetty was elected Chairman of the Council in November 2018 during the 14-month JD(S)-Congress coalition government.
With the BJP winning all the four Council seats in the October 30 biennial elections to three Graduates' and one Teachers' constituencies, the ruling party has 31, Congress 28, JD(S) 14, an independent and Chairman in the 75-member Upper House.
Though the BJP succeeded in passing the controversial Land Reforms Bill with the support of the JD(S) in the Council on December 8, it remains to be seen if it would be able to get the latter's support for passing the anti-cow slaughter bill on Tuesday by voting along with it or abstaining from voting.