BJP halts proceedings over 'tainted' ministers yet again

BJP halts proceedings over 'tainted' ministers yet again

The principal Opposition BJP stalled the proceedings in the Assembly as well as the Council for the second consecutive time on Saturday, demanding the resignation of three ministers facing land-grabbing charges.

The presiding officers adjourned both the Houses sine die.The saffron party had brought the proceedings to a halt in both the Houses on Friday, too. On Saturday, the BJP members led by their leaders Jagadish Shettar and K S Eshwarappa in the Assembly and the Council, respectively, continued their dharna soon after the House met for the day.

The ruling party, however, managed to withdraw the controversial bill on cow slaughter, which was introduced by the previous BJP governments. The Congress also succeeded in introducing two other bills.

Shettar urged Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa to reconsider his decision not to allow discussion on corruption charges against three ministers - Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao, Minister for Minorities Development Qamarul Islam, and Cooperation Minister H S Mahadev Prasad. However, the Speaker rejected the appeal.

Council Chairperson D H Shankaramurthy also refused to allow a discussion on the issue.
The Speaker held a meeting with the BJP members in his office before the commencement of the session and tried to convince them to drop their protest. His effort went in vain as the BJP stuck to its stand and pressed for a discussion on the issue in the House.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was not present in the Assembly when the BJP members staged a protest. The Congress members also shouted slogans against the BJP, creating a din in the House.

‘Shielding ministers’While staging the protest, Shettar charged the government with shielding the ministers facing charges. “The government should have allowed a discussion if the ministers are innocent. Bit It shied away as it is unable to defend them (the ministers),” he said. The BJP will continue its protest till the ministers are dropped from the Cabinet, he added.
Leader of the Opposition in the Council, K S Eshwarappa, termed as “unfortunate” the decision not to allow a discussion on the ministers.

“The Opposition parties have a right demand to a discussion on corruption charges against ministers in a democratic set-up. But the government has adopted an undemocratic stand,” he said.

The House witnessed uproarious scenes with both the Opposition and the ruling party members shouting slogans against each other.

Siddaramaiah, who strongly defended his government in the Council, hit back at the BJP members saying they were not interested in the development of North Karnataka and were hence staging a protest.

He accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being anti-farmer for not declaring a minimum support price for maize.

“The BJP members are not concerned about the development of the North Karnataka region. They are the symbols of corruption and they do not believe in democracy and the parliamentary system.

Seven ministers of the BJP went to jail on corruption charges,” he said. He also presented his reply to the debate on the development of North Karnataka despite protests by the BJP members.

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