Independent MLAs lash out at Speaker

Independent legislator Venkataramanappa said the Speaker, along with the ruling party, had set a bad precedence by conducting business in the House, without the Opposition parties. The House has to debate serious matters like the budget. It is not proper to conduct business when the Opposition is not present, he said.

P M Narendraswamy, another independent MLA, criticised the government for not making any effort to bring back the Congress and the JD(S) members who have boycotted the session demanding the resignation of the Speaker and the chief minister after being indicted by the Supreme Court in the MLAs’ disqualification case recently.

The Supreme Court has set aside the Speaker’s order on disqualification. It is a serious issue and there should be a debate on it in the House. An opportunity should be given to one and all to debate the issue, he said.

Shivaraj Thangadagi also supported the views of Narendraswamy and Venkataramanappa. However, D Sudhakar chose to remain silent, while Goolihatti Shekar was not present in the House. All these MLAs were ministers in Yeddyurappa’s Cabinet till a few months ago.

The Speaker in his reply said all efforts were made to contact the leaders of Opposition, but none was reachable over the phone. The leaders did not even attend the Business Advisory Committee meeting convened on Monday morning, he added.

Earlier, Yeddyurappa accused the Congress and the JD(S) of failing in their duty to play the role of the Opposition. “Nobody asked them to boycott the session. The people of the State are watching, and they will decide who is right and who is wrong,” he said.

Lone voice in the Council

Independent MLC Y A Narayanaswamy was the lone voice of the Opposition in the Legislative Council with the Congress and the JD(S) members staying away from the proceedings of the Upper House.

Narayanaswamy said it was not appropriate to pass bills in the absence of the Opposition members. However, several ruling party members, including G Madhusoodhan, said in a democratic set-up, the Opposition also shared equal responsibility for the smooth conduct of the House. Council Chairman D H  Shankaramurthy said there had been no formal communication to him from the Opposition members regarding their decision to boycott the House proceedings.

There are 11 nominated members in the Council and 10 of them have decided to affiliate themselves with the BJP and are attending the session. According to rules, a nominated member can decide on his/her party affiliation within six months of being sworn in as MLC.

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