Mining row: Opposition lays siege to House

Mining row: Opposition lays siege to House

Calling for Yeddyurappa’s resignation on the ground that he had failed to curb illegal mining, the Opposition refused to vacate the legislature premises even after legislative business in the two Houses was adjourned till Tuesday. Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Siddaramaiah, and JD (S) leader H D Revanna said their parties would not relent till the government accepted their demand.

An unfazed chief minister, however, did not see any reason to have the CBI investigate alleged cases of illegal mining, an issue that paralysed legislative business in both the Houses. While assuring members that  steps will be taken to curb such operations, he said in the event of failing to stop illegal mining, he would prefer to resign and seek a fresh mandate.

Taking the Opposition to task for causing frequent disruption of legislative proceedings, Yeddyurappa said the Congress and JD(S) members have always tried to thwart the government from deliberating on issues that directly affect the people. In this context, he recalled the Belgaum legislature session was also disrupted by an Opposition dharna.

The Speaker announced setting up a House Committee to conduct a probe into Friday’s incident in which six BJP MLAs, including the Reddy brothers, had a major altercation with Congress members over the mining issue. The Congress had lodged a complaint with the Speaker. The Opposition clamour for a CBI probe rang sharp especially after Yeddyurappa’s admission last Friday that there was rampant illegal mining in the state.

Interestingly, the Opposition members, who initially demanded action against the BJP MLAs for Friday’s fracas, suddenly changed their strategy in the afternoon, demanding instead Yeddyurappa’s resignation.

The protesting members had their evening snacks and hot beverages inside the House. For dinner, they were served a range of menu which included chicken and vegetable biryani, and curd rice. To top it all, they were provided with mattresses, pillows and blankets. Some felt relaxed enough to change into night dresses. Eight doctors and two ambulances were on standby for any health-related emergencies.

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