Karnataka: Cong demands end to 'poaching politics'

Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury speaks in Parliament, in New Delhi. PTI photo

The Lok Sabha on Tuesday once again witnessed uproar over the political crisis in Karnataka, with the opposition Congress MPs staging walkout accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of indulging in “poaching politics” and destabilizing the government in the state.

“This poaching politics must be stopped,” Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, said, before walking out of the House with other MPs of the opposition party. He also alleged that the BJP was also trying to destabilize the Congress-led Government in Madhya Pradesh. The Congress Parliamentary Party chief Sonia Gandhi and outgoing president of the party Rahul Gandhi also joined the other MPs of the party to walk out of the House.

Even as the Congress MPs walks out, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reiterated that the BJP and the BJP-led Government in the Centre had nothing to do with the political crisis in Karnataka. He said that whatever was happening in the state was an internal matter of the Congress.

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He also criticized the Congress for disturbing the proceedings of the lower House of Parliament to raise the issue of Karnataka.

The Congress MPs earlier trooped into the well of the Lok Sabha and raised slogans like “We Want Justice” and “Save Democracy”. They were protesting after Speaker Om Birla decided against allowing Chowdhury to speak on the issue of the political crisis in Karnataka. They were also joined by the MPs of the Congress’ ally Dravida Munethra Kazhagam (DMK).

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s Government in Karnataka plunged into crisis after as many as 14 MLAs of the ruling coalition of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) resigned from the legislative assembly of the state over the past few days.

The Congress had raised the issue in the Lok Sabha on Monday too. The party had accused the BJP of orchestrating the crisis to topple the government in Karnataka. Singh, who is also the Deputy Leader of the BJP in the Lok Sabha, had dismissed the allegation by the Congress.   

The Congress on Tuesday again submitted a notice to Speaker, seeking his permission to move an adjournment motion in the House to raise the issue of the political crisis in Karnataka. The Speaker, however, did not allow the party to move the adjournment motion.

The Congress MPs started raising slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government when Speaker was initially reluctant to allow the leader of the principal opposition party to speak on the issue even during the Zero Hour.

Birla told Chowdhury that he would not allow him to speak because the issue had already been raised on Monday and he had disallowed the notice for an adjournment motion moved by the opposition party on Tuesday. He had also pointed it out to Chowdhury that he had not received any notice from the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha seeking permission to speak during Zero Hour.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi too pointed it out that the Congress had already raised the issue of Karnataka in the Lok Sabha on Monday and Defence Minister had responded to the allegation by the opposition party.

Chowdhury then submitted a notice to Speaker seeking his permission to speak on the issue during Zero Hour itself.

Meanwhile, the Congress and the DMK MPs trooped into the well of the House and started raising slogans. When a Congress MP waved a paper written “Save Democracy” written on it, Speaker warned him against doing so again. He later allowed Chowdhury to speak on the issue of Karnataka.

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