Seven Bills passed with Opposition benches empty

Seven Bills passed with Opposition benches empty

At least seven Bills were passed in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday even as the Congress and JD(S) boycotted the proceedings, leaving the Opposition benches completely empty.

The Congress did not show up in the Assembly as a sign of protest against the BJP’s “dictatorial” ways, Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah told reporters. 

“We wanted the session to be curtailed and adjourned on Monday itself by passing just the Finance Bill (Budget) and not any other Bills. While the CM agreed, the Law Minister did not. On the floor of the House, the government started tabling the Bills that could have waited. We decided to boycott the Assembly as there is no value to the Opposition,” Siddaramaiah said. 

The JD(S) also staged a walkout after Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri refused to allow a discussion on an alleged scam at the Karnataka State Cooperative Apex Bank. “I will allow it after the chief minister’s response on the budget discussion,” Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri said, which irked JD(S) leader H D Revanna. “This is not done,” he said, leading his partymen out of the House. 

With both Opposition parties out, seven Bills were passed with little or no debate. They were: Karnataka Appropriation Bill (two of them), Karnataka Motor Vehicles Taxation (Amendment) Bill, Karnataka Regulation of Stone Crushers (Amendment) Bill, Karnataka Gram Swaraj and Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill, Karnataka Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation and Development) (Amendment) Bill and Sarvajna Kshetra Development Authority Bill. 

The legislature session, which started with Governor Vajubhai R Vala’s address on February 17 continued till 21, resumed on March 2 and ended Tuesday. “In total, the House was in session for 21 days and saw 106 hours of business. The Constitution debate lasted 27.46 hours. Of the 26 Bills that were tabled, 25 were passed. Of the 3,612 questions received, 2,519 were answered,” Kageri said, before adjourning the Assembly sine die.