An interim report on the December 15 ruckus by a special committee in the Legislative Council has named Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan and Minor Irrigation Minister J C Madhuswamy as the main instigators behind the unrest and has recommended their suspension.
“Having verified video footage of the proceedings in the House that day, it is clear that both J C Madhuswamy and Ashwath Narayan acted against the provisions of the law and were the main instigators of the ruckus. They are not fit to hold any government post,” the interim report has said.
The report was compiled by a three-member committee led by JD(S) MLC Marithibbe Gowda and was tabled in the Upper House on Friday. The report pertains to an incident where the ruling party, in a bid to oust Council chairperson Pratapchandra Shetty, made former deputy chairperson late Dharme Gowda occupy Shetty’s seat, leading to commotion in the House.
A third minister and leader on the floor of the House Kota Srinivasa Poojari, along with JD(S) leaders Basavaraj Horatti, Srikante Gowda and Govindaraj have also been implicated for facilitating the ruckus. The committee has recommended that all of them be suspended for the next two sessions. Horatti is expected to take over as the chairperson, succeeding Shetty.
Newly inducted Deputy Chairperson M K Pranesh along with MLCs Y A Narayanaswamy and Arun Shahapur have been found guilty of closing the door to the House and preventing the chairperson from entering.
That apart, the committee has prominently pinned the blame on Council secretary K R Mahalakshmi for “failing in her duty”. She has to be suspended until the final report is submitted. There has to be an inquiry into her actions, headed by a retired high court judge, it has recommended.
On the other hand, Congress leaders Naseer Ahmed, Prakash Rathod, M Narayanawamy and Srinivasa Mane have been blamed for dragging the late Dharme Gowda out of the chairperson’s seat. The committee has recommended their suspension for one session.
Nonetheless, no action has been taken based on the interim report as Council chairperson Pratapchandra Shetty suggested that the House wait until the final report was submitted.
Meanwhile, Madhuswamy said the report was null and void. “My stand has been clear from the beginning. The committee is not valid. Hence the report is not valid,” he said.