Will Bommai’s tenure record be broken?

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By Sangamesh Menasinakai | ENS – HUBLI

08th July 2012 08:33 AM

  • Shettar can break the nine-month tenure record of S R Bommai, who was the first CM from the city. | EPS
    Shettar can break the nine-month tenure record of S R Bommai, who was the first CM from the city. | EPS

While Hubli-Dharwad is gearing up to see its leader Jagadish Shettar as Chief Minister, the question has risen if Shettar can break the nine-month tenure record of S R Bommai, who was the first CM from the city.

People are also wondering if he will be successful in handling dissidence among his own party legislators.

One can find similarities between both the leaders, one being that they were MLAs from Hubli rural Assembly constituency.

Currently, Shettar is representing Hubli-Dharwad Central in the state Assembly.

Bommai also faced dissidence from his MLAs. He was instrumental in stopping the misuse of Article 356 by the Union government by filing a case questioning the dissolution of his government.

By this, he had given a new dimension to Centre-State relations. When Bommai took charge as CM on August 13, 1988, after Ramakrishna Hegde’s resignation, his government consisted of MLAs from the Janata Party.

The party was was merged with the Lok Dal within a month and was renamed as Janata Dal.

Janata Dal MLA Kalyan Rao Molakery, who had identified with H D Deve Gowda then, presented a letter to the Governor stating that 19 MLAs have withdrawn their support to the government.

Recognising the lack of majority, the Governor had sent a report to the President to exercise his power under Article 356(1).

In a dramatic development, seven, out of the 19 legislators, had affirmed their support to the government the very next day, stating that their signatures were taken earlier by misrepresentation.

However their plea was ignored and the government was dissolved on April 21, 1989.

Bommai challenged the move in the Karnataka High Court, which had issued the landmark order in 1994, in favour of Bommai and the same was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2011.

Now residents of the region, including BJP workers, are questioning whether will Shettar handle possible dissidence from his party men successfully? Also, will he complete the BJP’s tenure, which ends by May 2013?

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