Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Hindu
The Hindu
Sharth S. Srivatsa

Stage set for smooth passage of anti-conversion Bill in Council

With a clear majority in the Karnataka Legislative Council for the first time, the ruling BJP is set to get the controversial Karnataka Right to Freedom of Religion Bill (popularly called the anti-conversion Bill) cleared in the session starting on Monday.

The government had tried to move the Bill before the Upper House in the winter session at Belagavi in 2021 after it was passed by the Legislative Assembly, but had not done so amidst protest from the Opposition benches. The government had also not moved the Bill either during the joint session in January or during the budget session. It, however, promulgated an Ordinance to give effect to the Bill.

Following elections

Following a series of elections in the last few months, the composition of the House changed giving the BJP, which was dependent on the JD(S) support for passage of Bills, an upper hand. Currently, in the 75-member house, the BJP has its highest ever tally with 41 members, including the pro tem chairman, followed by Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) with 26 members and 8 members, respectively.

BJP spokesperson and MLC N. Ravikumar said that the government will get the anti-conversion Bill cleared in the Upper House since the party has a clear majority. “Even other Bills will be cleared smoothly during this session.”

Chairman, Deputy Chairman

Meanwhile, the Council is also likely to elect a new chairman since BJP’s Raghunath Rao Malkapure has been the pro tem chairman for over three months following the resignation of Basavaraj Horatti, who has now won a record eighth time. Mr. Horatti, then elected on a JD(S) ticket, resigned from the party and also from the post of chairman to join BJP and contest the election that he won comfortably in May earlier this year from the North West Teachers’ constituency.

Party sources said that while Mr. Horatti is the front runner to return to the post of chairman when the election is directed by the Governor’s office, the incumbent Mr. Malkapure has also evinced interest to continue. However, sources close to Mr. Horatti pointed out that the party had promised the veteran leader that he would be made the chairman.

The Council will also likely elect the deputy chairman as the post has been lying vacant since December 2021. The post fell vacant as the term of BJP member M.K. Pranesh, who was then the deputy chairman, came to an end. Mr. Pranesh, who was re-elected from local authorities constituency, is also trying hard to secure the party’s nomination along with Shashil G. Namoshi.

Mr. Ravikumar said that the decision on the party’s candidates for the post of chairman and deputy chairman have not been finalised.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.