Din over Kolar water problems

Din over Kolar water problems

The Legislative Assembly on Monday witnessed a noisy scene over the issue of drinking water problem in Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts.

Eventually, Speaker Kogodu Thimmappa had to order eviction of Malur JD(S) MLA Manjunath Gowda for his unseemly behaviour while placing his demand and views.
An emotionally-charged Gowda protested in a raised voice against the government for not mentioning Yettinahole drinking water project in the 2015-16 budget despite repeated warnings from the Speaker. Senior Congress MLA K R Ramesh Kumar from Srinivasapura, JD(S) MLA from Chintamani J K Krishnareddy and Subba Reddy (Ind) of Bagepalli, too, joined Gowda in the protest.

Manjunath Gowda dared the Speaker to throw him out and charged him with being insensitive towards the problem. Gowda trooped into the well of the House and shouted on top of his voice accusing the government of being biased towards these districts. He also made indecent gestures at the ruling party members.

Then Kagodu ordered the watch and ward staff to evict the member. Members of both the BJP and the JD(S) joined the protest. Gowda refused to leave the House despite the watch and ward staff requesting him to do so. The Speaker adjourned the House as the situation appeared to be going out of control.

It all began when Congress MLA P M Narendra Swamy said there was no need to mention ongoing projects in the budget. Ramesh Kumar intervened and sought to know why the  ongoing Sintalur project is being mentioned in the budget.

Kagodu took exception to Ramesh Kumar for intervening in the debate and asked him not to lecture on the issue. An irate Ramesh Kumar threatened to walk out if he was not allowed to speak about the problem.

The Speaker lost his cool and said he was free to do so. When Ramesh Kumar was walking out, Manjunath Gowda rushed to the well and staged the protest.

Efforts by Energy Minister D K Shivakumar to pacify Ramesh Kumar went in vain. He refused to attend the session and left the Vidhana Soudha.

Earlier in the day, Ramesh Kumar attacked the State Cabinet and accused the ministers of using their power to safeguard the interest of their constituencies. “You are not behaving like responsible ministers who are accountable to the entire State,” Ramesh Kumar said.
He said it had become difficult for him to enter his constituency as the government had not taken any measures to mitigate the drinking water crisis. “The people have elected me... I am answerable to them....but the government is not taking any steps. I have only two options before me either to run away or commit suicide,” he said.

The words used by Congress MLA Ramesh Kumar did not go well with his own party government. A visibly upset Law Minister T B Jayachandra hit back stating that he was making “overarching and irresponsible statements” against the Cabinet. “What is this... This is not fair,” Jayachandra said. Ramesh Kumar said he was expressing his opinion.

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