KARNATAKA

Three nominated members of Council retire

Bangalore Dec. 4. Three of the nominated members of the Legislative Council — K.B. Shanappa (JD-U), the Deputy Chairman, David Simeon, (JD-S), and M.S. Siddaraju (expelled from the Congress) — retired today at the end of their six-year term.

The Chairman, B.L. Shankar, and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, M.V. Venkatappa, the Water Resources Minister, H.K. Patil, B.S. Yediyurappa of the BJP, K.H. Srinivasa of the JD(S), and some other members of the Council attended a farewell function held today.

Mr. Siddaraju was absent. Mr. Shankar, who presided, paid compliments to the members. Mr. Simeon and Mr. Shanappa thanked the Chairman and members for their cooperation.

All the three had been nominated by the Janata Dal Government. But later, Mr. Siddaraju defected to the Congress and resigned his seat. He was renominated by the Chief Minister, S.M. Krishna. But soon, Mr. Siddaraju, who hails from the Chief Minister's hometown of Maddur, fell out with him, and was expelled from the Congress. His is perhaps the only case of a member being nominated twice during a single six-year term.

Mr. Shanappa, a former Communist and trade union leader from Gulbarga District, was the Excise Minister in the Janata Dal Government. Mr. Simeon too is from Gulbarga District.

Though the Government has so far not given thought to filling the three seats, some of the Congress leaders and workers have demanded that their case should be considered. Some of them have alleged that the party is favouring newcomers and defectors when it comes to election or nomination to the Legislative Council and election to the Rajya Sabha.

The Chairman of the KPCC SC/ST Department, H.T. Venkatappa, has become the second party leader to rake up the issue. The first was L.R. Ananth, co-Chairman of the Backward Classes Cell of the KPCC.

In a statement to the press, Mr. Venkatappa, a former Chairman of the Central Relief Committee, has alleged that some of the party leaders are promoting newcomers. Citing the case of the nomination of L. Hanumanthaiah to the Council in 2000, he has said that the party MP from Kolar, K.H. Muniyappa, canvassed his case though he (Mr. Hanumanthaiah) was a member of the BSP. He prevailed upon him to resign his job in a bank and projected him as a Scheduled Caste (Left Hand) leader and writer.

Mr. Venkatappa has said that with the result, though he too belongs to that section of SCs and has been a member of the Congress for 32 years, his claims have been ignored.

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