Special Correspondent

Chandru, Shankaramurthy hold offices of profit: Congress

Legislators cannot hold office of profit, says Congress

Chairman reserves his ruling on the demand

BANGALORE: Congress members in the Legislative Council on Tuesday urged Chairman B.K. Chandrashekar to disqualify Bharatiya Janata Party MLCs ‘Mukhyamantri’ Chandru and D.H. Shankaramurthy for violation of the office of profit rules.

‘Violation of rules’

Raising the issue, V.R. Sudarshan and V.S. Ugrappa said the appointment of Mr. Chandru and Mr. Shankaramurthy as Chairman of the Kannada Development Authority and Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Board respectively was in violation of the office of profit rules. According to Article 191 of the Constitution, legislators could be disqualified if they held an office of profit, they said.

The two posts were not on the list of posts that were removed from the ambit of the office of profit by the State Government through an amendment in 2006, the Congress members argued.

They urged Prof. Chandrashekar to exercise the power to disqualify the two from membership of the Council.

Ruling reserved

The Chairman has reserved his ruling.

Leader of the House V.S. Acharya maintained that the appointments of the two MLCs did not violate the office of profit rules.

He claimed that the amendment made by the Government in 2006 also stated that the office of profit rules would not apply to heads or deputy heads of any committee or society that had been registered under the Societies Act.

But the Opposition members took exception to this and said the statement was too general in nature.

Permanent invitee

The Opposition members also took exception to the BJP Government making Mr. Shankaramurthy a permanent invitee to Cabinet meetings.

Mr. Ugrappa said only members of the Cabinet could attend Cabinet meetings. Making Mr. Shankaramurthy, who is not a Minister, a permanent invitee to Cabinet meetings amounted to dishonouring the Cabinet and violating constitutional norms, he said.