Lobbying on for Council nominations

As the seats of three nominated members of the Legislative Council will be vacant by early next month, several Congress workers and office-bearers are hectically lobbying for the posts.

Sources in the party said several lesser-known leaders, office-bearers and candidates who lost in the Assembly elections are vying for the Council seats.

Nivedita Alva, son of veteran Congress leader Margaret Alva, K.E. Radhakrishna, vice-president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, U.B. Venkatesh, businessman, and M.C. Venugopal, who contested the 2013 Assembly elections and lost, are among those said to be lobbying with Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikajun Kharge, Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara, and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, among others.

Under Article 171 of the Constitution, the Governor nominates members having special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art, co-operative movement and social service, to the Council based on government recommendation.

A couple of senior party leaders expressed concerns about the misuse of the “social service” category while nominating leaders to the Upper House. A leader said there was no consultation and transparency within the party on identification of candidates.

Overall, seven council seats will fall vacant by August 9. Four — those of V. Somanna, G. Parameshwara, K.S. Eshwarappa, and Basanagouda Patil Yatnal — have been vacant following the Assembly elections. The Congress’ M.D. Lakshminarayana, a nominated member, resigned from the Council before contesting, and losing, the Assembly election from Belagavi South. The terms of two other nominated members — Tara Anuradha and K.B. Shanappa (both BJP) — will end on August 9. While Mr. Somanna, Mr. Parameshwara, and Mr. Eshwarappa were elected to the Council from the Assembly, Mr. Yatnal was elected from the local bodies constituency.

Strength in numbers

Congress: 34

BJP: 20

JD(S): 13

Independents: 2

Pro tem Chairman: 1

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