Special Correspondent

JD(S), BJP refrain from fielding candidate for the post

Bangalore: Senior Congress MLC and former Minister B.K. Chandrashekar is likely to be elected Chairman of the Legislative Council on Thursday.

The election is scheduled for Thursday, but with there being no other candidate in the fray, 63-year-old Prof. Chandrashekar's unopposed elevation as Chairman is certain.

The two ruling coalition partners, the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Bharatiya Janata Party, refrained from fielding a candidate. The Congress enjoys a strength of 40 in the 75-member House, whereas the two ruling partners together have 30 members. Of the five others, four are independents, apart from Deputy Chairman Sachidananda Khot who also can vote, if need be.

With the Congress high command approving his candidature on Tuesday, Prof. Chandrashekar filed his nomination papers on Wednesday. He was accompanied by Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president M. Mallikarjun Kharge and the leaders of the Opposition in the two Houses of the Legislature, N. Dharam Singh and H.K. Patil.

On Tuesday, Mr. Kharge, Mr. Dharam Singh and Mr. Patil were in New Delhi to hold discussions with the party high command to finalise the candidate. The others seeking the ticket were the former Minister C. Motamma, Chandrashekar Kambar and Veeranna Mathikatti. Wednesday was the last date for filing of nomination papers. "I look forward to the help and guidance of the Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition, apart from the floor leaders and members for the smooth conduct of the House," Prof. Chandrashekar said.