Opposition calls off dharna as Karnataka assembly adjourns sine die

Session witnessed a sleep-in by Opposition; superfast law-making
Last Updated 16 July 2010, 18:17 IST
Opposition calls off dharna as Karnataka assembly adjourns sine die

The session ended 10 working days ahead of the schedule, in the wake of Opposition’s dharna in both the Houses following the ruling party’s refusal to concede their demand for a CBI inquiry into the illegal mining in the State.

However, using its sheer numerical strength, the ruling BJP ensured that all important bills, including the Appropriation Bill and the controversial cow slaughter ban bill were passed.

Speaker K G Bopaiah decided to take up the day’s agenda on Friday also, unmindful of the Opposition dharna. In a repeat show of Thursday, Opposition members tore the agenda papers and threw them in the air to mark the protest. The Speaker went ahead passing bills after bills, including the Karnataka Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill 2010 providing additional powers to the Lokayukta, the Karnataka Highways (Amendment) Bill 2010 providing the authority to the state government to levy toll on state highways.

In all, 12 bills were passed by voice-vote in the Assembly in just 55 minutes, with the Speaker taking a quick break to sip water. Marshals had lined up on both the sides of the Speaker. It was much the same story in the Council, with as many as 11 bills passed in 35 minutes. No visitors were allowed to witness the proceedings in the legislature.

Saviraru koti, BJP looty

In the Assembly, JD(S) leader H D Revanna and Congress leader T B Jayachandra made futile attempts to seek the permission of the chair to speak. The slogans like, ‘Saviraru koti, BJP looty” (BJP has swindled crores of rupees), ‘Gali Gali mein shor hai, BJP chor hai” (the streets are abuzz; the BJP men are thieves) were continuously raised by the agitating members.

Jayachandra was heard addressing the Speaker: ‘This is not the way to conduct the House. This is not a ZP meeting. To whose protection are you rushing?”

The Opposition dharna, which started on July 12, was triggered by the ‘unruly’ behaviour of some ruling party legislators, including the Bellary Reddy brothers on July 9.

The Opposition members staged dharna round-the-clock, braving rodents and mosquitoes which are aplenty in the lounges. Despite members lodging a complaint, no action was taken to control the rodent menace by the government.

Haunted by monotony

As the days passed, they were haunted by the monotony -- of eating, chatting and drowsing. It was evident as the number of protesters staging dharna started dwindling gradually. Many of them were, in fact, eagerly waiting for the House to be adjourned sine die. The protesters, on Friday, walked out of the Legislature shouting slogans against the Government and vowed to continue their protest outside the Legislature.

Opposition leader Siddaramaiah, who spearheaded the protest dharna, was not present on the last day as he was in Delhi to attend a Congress party meeting.

Deputy leader of the opposition in the Assembly T B Jayachandra said his party will urge Governor H R Bhardwaj to send back all the bills passed in the Legislature as the House did not debate them.

- Began on June 28
- Debated the Lokayukta resignation and Belekeri scam till July 9
- On July 12, Opposition begins a sit-in following unruly behaviour by BJP members
- Govt announces giving more powers to the Lokayukta
- Adjourned sine die on July 16

(Published 16 July 2010, 11:38 IST)

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