BJP ups the ante, wants George out

BJP ups the ante, wants George out

BJP ups the ante, wants George out

The BJP on Friday upped the ante by criticising the Congress government for what it said was its “failure” to check the increasing sexual assaults on women. The party also persisted in demanding the resignation of Home Minister K J George. 

BJP members in the Legislative Assembly and the Council wore black badges as a mark of protest. The party sought to move an adjournment motion on the issue in both the Houses and targeted the Home minister for failing to prevent attacks on women, especially minor girls. The JD(S) too sought an adjournment motion, but with lesser vigour. 

BJP leader Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri said that parents were worried about sending their wards to school after the rape of a six-year-old girl at Vibgyor School in Bangalore. The Congress government had failed to take measures to restore confidence in the parents, he said in the preliminary submission seeking to move the adjournment motion. 

At least ten rapes and seven cases of molestation against women have been reported in Karnataka over the last week. The latest victim is a teenage girl who was training to be a nun in Bangalore. Instead of dealing sternly with the culprits, there are attempts to hush up the cases. George has no moral right to continue as home minister, Kageri charged. 

In the Council, Leader of Opposition K S Eshwarappa slammed the government for its failure to prevent crimes against women. “This is a very serious matter. There must be discussion on how to strengthen the laws, and the Home department’s blunders in handling the issue before any other business is taken up in the House,” he added. 

But the Congress members objected to the BJP’s agenda and created an uproar in both the Houses. As the tempers frayed, members of the ruling and the Opposition parties traded charges. While the Opposition contended that the issue warranted adjournment motion, members occupying the treasury benches disputed it. 

The BJP’s S Suresh Kumar said the culprits were roaming freely and the government had chosen to look the other way. Parents are worried about the government’s response. The MLA further said that the police inspector, who allegedly toned down the victim’s complaint, had been absconding. If the government cannot arrest its own inspector, how can it protect the people, he wondered. 

The JD(S) joined the demand for adjournment motion. The party’s leader Y S V Datta said that people would have faith in the legislature only if the Assembly discussed the issue and came out with a solution. JD(S) floor leader H D Kumaraswamy was absent. Leader of Opposition Jagadish Shettar in the Assembly and the BJP’s deputy leader R Ashoka were away in Delhi. 

But Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa disallowed the adjournment motion. When Chief Minister Siddaramaiah strongly defended his government and alleged that the BJP did not have a moral right as its own leaders were accused of rape, the BJP protested the statement and staged a walkout. 

The BJP members later staged a dharna under the statue of Kengal Hanumanthaiah in front of Vidhana Soudha and shouted slogans seeking the Home minister’s ouster. Eshwarappa said the party would launch a State-wide agitation on the issue in the coming days.