Legislature disrupted over loan waiver, North Karnataka

Legislature disrupted over loan waiver, North Karnataka

BJP leaders stage a protest in the Assembly in Belagavi on Thursday demanding farm loan waiver. DH photo/M S Manjunath

The crop loan waiver and issues plaguing North Karnataka disrupted the penultimate day of the winter session of the legislature as both Houses were adjourned on Thursday when the BJP locked horns with the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition.

There were some important bills slated for passage, but the din ensured no business took place in either the Legislative Assembly or the Council.

The Assembly was adjourned after the Opposition BJP staged a dharna in the well of the House demanding that the government announce a specific date on which crop loans will be waived. They also demanded that Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy tender an apology to the leader of the Opposition B S Yeddyurappa for accusing him of influencing nationalised banks and derailing the rollout of the waiver.

The BJP had trooped into the well of the House with the two demands on Wednesday evening as well. It continued when the House resumed on Thursday and Kumaraswamy was in no mood to relent, eventually forcing Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to adjourn the proceedings.

The Legislative Council was disrupted five times on Thursday and was adjourned without conducting any business as the BJP demanded a discussion on the problems faced by the North Karnataka region.

Kumaraswamy said the government was prepared for a discussion, but only after the question hour. The Opposition did not budge.

It started with the leader of Opposition Kota Srinivasa Pujari moving an adjournment motion demanding that they be allowed to raise “the burning issues of North Karnataka region” that included drinking water issues, Upper Krishna Project, Article 371J and Dr Nanjundappa Committee report on regional imbalances.

Government Chief Whip Ivan D’souza opposed this. Mahantesh Kavatagimath (BJP) said that people of North Karnataka, being neglected, demanded separate statehood.

“Voices of the region need to be heard,” he urged.
Congress’ floor leader and minister Jayamala said that issues of North Karnataka had been discussed enough in this session and repetition was unnecessary.

Kumaraswamy pointed out that it was his coalition government (2006, with the BJP) that started holding the legislature session every year at Belagavi.

Following a heated verbal duel between the ruling and Opposition members, Council Chairman K Prathap Chandra Shetty adjourned the House.

The winter session is slated to conclude Friday.