AICC president had cleared five names

The list of persons to be nominated to the Karnataka Legislative Council is likely to be sent to the Governor on Monday after obtaining the formal concurrence of the Congress high command, should there be a need.

Time is running out for the ruling Congress in the matter of nominations for the Council with Governor H.R. Bhardwaj set to retire in another fortnight. The State government believes that it should push through with the nominations before the end of tenure of the incumbent Governor. There is, however, no specified deadline for completing the nomination process although the rules say that it should be done only after the end of term of the incumbent members.

Pressure from leaders

The Congress high command, it is said, has cleared the names of five persons to be nominated to the Council after holding discussions with, among others, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) G. Parameshwara. The pressure exerted by some State Congress leaders for changes in the list has, however, resulted in the process of nominations being delayed. A few days ago, four Congress members — H.M. Revanna, Dr. Parameshwara, Jayamma and N.S. Boseraju — were elected to the Council from the Legislative Assembly in the biennial elections.

Sources close to Mr. Siddaramaiah told The Hindu that the file containing the State government’s recommendations for nominations was expected to be sent to the Governor on Monday and thereafter it will be the prerogative of the head of the State to approve or seek clarifications.

Article 171 of the Constitution sets the ground for the nominations to the Council and there is no clear-cut bar on a politician being nominated. All that the provision says is persons having special knowledge or practical experience in such matters as literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social services shall be nominated by the Governor. Political parties have nominated active politicians to the Council on the ground that such persons are involved in social service, and there are a number of such precedents.

Names included

It is said that All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi, after a meeting with the Chief Minister and the KPCC president apart from AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka Digvijay Singh, approved the names of V.S. Ugrappa, Jaimala, Mohan Kondajji, Ivan D’Souza and Abdul Jabbar. Over the weekend, the names of Mr. Kondajji and Mr. D’Souza have been deleted to accommodate Iqbal Ahmed Saradgi and Shanthakumar. This has led to the process being delayed, with Mr. Kondajji and Mr. D’Souza exerting pressure on the party leadership.

Mr. Saradgi, a former MP, was defeated in the last election to the Upper House following what was then described as “cross voting” by a section of the party legislators. He enjoys the support of M. Mallikarjun Kharge in particular and of Congressmen from the Hyderabad Karnataka region, who have demanded that he should be nominated. Mr. Jabbar, who was nominated only about a month ago, has not even attended a session of the Council, and consequently has been given the weightage for re-nomination.

Meanwhile, Veerashaiva community leaders have demanded that a member of the community should be nominated, more so, since M.V. Rajasekharan is set to retire.

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