Cong again stages walkout of Lok Sabha on K'taka crisis

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury speaks in the Lok Sabha. PTI file photo

The opposition Congress on Thursday once again walked out of the Lok Sabha to protest the alleged role of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in destabilizing the state government in Karnataka.

The leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, requested Speaker Om Birla during Zero Hour to allow him to speak on the political situation in Karnataka and Goa.

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The coalition government of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) plunged into crisis after several MLAs resigned. The Congress has been raising the issue in the Lok Sabha over the past few days, accusing the BJP of indulging in poaching politics and orchestrating the political crisis in Karnataka. The Congress also suffered a setback in Goa after 10 of its MLAs in the State joined the ruling BJP.

Birla, however, did not allow Chowdhury to raise the issue of the political situation in Karnataka and Goa. He instead asked Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Arjun Ram Meghwal, to propose a change in the list of business for Thursday.

Chowdhury was still seen making attempts to speak, but he could not be heard as his microphone was not turned on. He was later seen leading the Congress MPs to stage a walkout from the House. Sonia Gandhi, Congress Parliamentary Party chief, and the outgoing president of the party, Rahul Gandhi, were among the ones who walked out of the House.

Even as the Congress MPs staged a walkout, Lok Sabha Speaker briefly allowed Shobha Karandlaje of the BJP to speak on the issue of the political situation in Karnataka. She said that the BJP had emerged as the single largest party in the state assembly after the elections in May 2018, but the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) had forged a coalition and formed the Government. But the coalition government of the Congress and the JD (S) had now ceased to enjoy the support of the majority in the State Assembly, she said.

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