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High drama in K'taka Council: Members get physical, dy chairman pulled down

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
December 15, 2020 18:11 IST
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The Karnataka Legislative Council witnessed high drama on Tuesday with members hurling abuses and pushing each other and deputy chairman S L Dharme Gowda being pulled down from the chairman's seat over a row pertaining to the no-confidence motion.

Amid the pandemonium and chaos, which many senior members termed as a "black mark" and "unprecedented" in the House's century old history, it was adjourned sine-die within minutes after it met for the day.

After it was adjourned sine-die on December 10, the House was convened for a day on Tuesday by the government, which had even petitioned the governor, accusing the chairman K Pratapachandra Shetty of "abruptly" adjourning the session, without taking up the no-confidence motion against him.

Though the no-confidence motion against Shetty moved by Bharatiya Janata Party members did not find mention in the Council's agenda for Tuesday as Shetty had rejected it citing procedural lapses and pointing out that no specific charges were made against him, ruling party members had been insisting that it be taken up.

 

The BJP, with the support of Janata Dal-Secular, had planned to remove Shetty as the chairman through the no-confidence motion.

As the House met for the day, Gowda occupied the chairman's seat even before Shetty arrived and the quorum bell still ringing, which angered Congress MLCs who rushed to the well demanding that he vacate it, as he would have allowed the no-confidence motion against Shetty.

Following this, BJP and JD-S members too rushed towards the Chair in his defence.

This resulted in a heated exchange of words and much jostling between members from both sides.

Some Congress members, including Naseer Ahmed, were seen trying to forcefully open the door through which the chairman enters the house, accusing the ruling side of shutting it with an intention not to allow Shetty inside.

Congress members accused the government of trying to start proceedings even before the chairman could come,with the help of Gowda, with an intention to take up the no-confidence motion against Shetty, which has been rejected by him.

BJP and JD-S members argued that the deputy chairman has the right to conduct the proceedings as the no-confidence was against the chairman.

Following this, some Congress MLCs, including M Narayanaswamy and Naseer Ahmed forcefully pulled down the deputy chairman from the seat.

Several members and marshals of the council were also allegedly manhandled in the melee, even as Congress managed to make one of its members occupy the chair until Shetty arrived in the House, and the party MLCs stood guard around the seat.

Several BJP and JD-S members objected to this and questioned whether the person sitting on the Chair was among the panel who could occupy it.

After some time chairman Pratapachandra Shetty entered the house and managed to go up to the chair, from where he announced that the house was adjourned sine die.

The BJP and the JD-S have decided to petition the governor against the chairman and on the developments on Tuesday.

Senior ministers also went into a huddle with JD-S leaders and the deputy chairman on the next course of action.

Terming the chairman's act of adjourning the house sine-die as unlawful, state home minister Basavaraj Bommai told reporters outside the council hall that "he (Shetty) cannot do it as there is no-confidence against him.

"...We will go to the Governor who is the custodian of both houses," he said.

Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy said the Chairman has no right, as it has been fourteen plus five days since no-confidence notice has been sent, adding, as Shetty cannot run the House, the deputy chairman was requested to occupy the Chair.

"...We had last night itself written to the chairman, requesting him not to conduct the proceedings of the House as the no-confidence motion against him has to be taken up. We had also requested the Deputy Chairman to conduct the proceedings," he said.

Leader of the opposition in the Council S R Patil alleged that the deputy chairman occupied the chair against the rules and procedures and it was against the Constitution.

Senior JD-S MLC Basavaraj Horatti said as the no-confidence motion was against the chairman and he has lost the support of majority of members, on the government's insistence the deputy chairman occupied the Chair,

He termed as 'shameful,' the developments in the 113 year-old council's history.

With the House being adjourned sine-die,other subjects in the agenda,including the contentious anti cow slaughter bill passed by the assembly, were not taken up.

IMAGES: Ruckus between BJP and Congress leaders in the Karnataka Legislative Council in Bengaluru. Photographs: PTI Photo
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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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