Speaker admits privilege motion against Hiremath

Speaker admits privilege motion against Hiremath

The Legislative Assembly on Monday referred a complaint by Congress MLA K R Ramesh Kumar against social activist S R Hiremath to the privileges committee.

The move comes in the wake of Hiremath reportedly saying that the MLA is unfit to become a minister and should be socially boycotted.

Moving a privilege motion, Kumar, a former Speaker, said that his rights as an MLA has been breached because of the remarks made by Hiremath. The NGO chief has said that he (Kumar) is tainted. It is impossible to face the Assembly, the public and the family members when such charges are levelled against him, the MLA said. Hiremath heads Samaja Parivarthana Samudaya which has taken the illegal mining issue to court.

A fretting and fuming Kumar said: “I am aware that Hiremath is not a member of this House. But, still I have to raise this matter to protect my rights. The chief minister has not recommended my disqualification to the governor. Hiremath is not the chief minister, governor, president or head of the election commission. What authority has he to brand me as a tainted MLA? There is no court case against me. Why, suo motu, he has issued a character certificate to me? I am an MLA for the fifth term and people have elected me.

Probably, he may have some evidence against me. Let the matter be referred to the privileges committee,” he said.

The MLA from Sreenivasapur also said that Hiremath had timed his comments when the Assembly session was scheduled to begin. He said he foresaw a conspiracy to make him dysfunctional as an MLA. “Why should I carry the blemish? My complaint  should be processed expeditiously,” he requested the chair.

Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra said: “Such comments would be construed as truth if we do not react. Let the matter be referred to the privileges committee.” Immediately, Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa referred it to the committee and sought a report.

Hiremath reacts

Reacting to the privilege motion, Hiremath said, he held the Legislature as democratic institution under the Constitution in its highest regard and expressed confidence that the motion would be withdrawn. He wondered how his demand for a probe into illegal encroachment of public land by a public servant had come in the way of a legislator in discharging his legislature functioning.

“I state that it would be against public interest for such frivolous motion to be put up before a legislative body. I firmly believe that by no stretch of imagination can the mention of specific instances of land encroachments involving persons be interpreted as infringing upon the privilege of the legislature” he observed.

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