On Day 1, din in Assembly over Yatnal’s comments

On Day 1, din in Karnataka Assembly over Yatnal’s comments

B S Yediyurappa in the Assembly. DH Photo

Both Houses of the Legislature witnessed pandemonium on the first day of the Budget Session on Monday, with the Opposition Congress and JD(S) targeting BJP legislator Basanagouda Patil Yatnal for his statements against veteran freedom fighter H S Doreswamy.

Yatnal, who had called Doreswamy a “fake” freedom fighter, stood by his remarks and refused to tender an apology. The Opposition thronged the well of the House, demanding that they be allowed to raise the matter, forcing repeated adjournments.

When the Assembly commenced, Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah sought to raise “a matter of grave public importance” and wanted a discussion on Yatnal’s remarks.

“Yatnal has made insulting comments on Doreswamy. It is an insult to all freedom fighters and the freedom struggle itself,” Siddaramaiah said, demanding Yatnal’s expulsion from the Assembly. “It’s a contempt of this House,” he said, adding that such remarks were “treason”.

Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri said the Opposition had not given any notice to move a discussion on the subject. Law Minister J C Madhuswamy, Kannada & Culture Minister C T Ravi, Mines & Geology Minister C C Patil and others from the Treasury Benches rose to defend Yatnal by arguing that the discussion cannot be allowed.

“There’s no notice either to the Speaker or the government. Under what rule are you raising this issue,” Madhuswamy asked.

Adamant, the Speaker asked Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to go ahead with his reply on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address. This angered the Opposition who rushed to the Well of the House, shouting “Save Constitution” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.

The Speaker was forced to adjourn the Assembly because of the din. The logjam continued when the session resumed at 4.15 pm. The Congress demanded that the speaker allow a discussion on the issue as per Rule 363 of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly rules, which empowers the Speaker to hold such a discussion.

While the Speaker remained defiant and advised the Opposition to seek a discussion under Rule 307, Yediyurappa announced that the ruling party was ready for a discussion. Noting the limitations of such a discussion, Congress members continued to protest at the Well of the House.

Meanwhile, Yatnal stood his ground. “The Congress is jobless. People like Rahul Gandhi and Mani Shankar Aiyar should be targeted for speaking about Veer Savarkar. Rahul even posed with the tukde-tukde gang. Under no circumstances will I apologise,” he told reporters.

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