Speaker pulls up Patil for 'zero traffic' remark

Home Minister M B Patil answering about the Zero traffic, at the Karnataka Assembly trust vote session at Vidhana Soudha, in Bengaluru on Monday. Photo/ B H Shivakumar

Home Minister M B Patil was pulled up by Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar for his remarks on providing zero traffic to rebel MLAs from HAL airport to Vidhana Soudha on July 11.

It began when JD(S) MLA A T Ramaswamy wanted to know why rebel MLAs were provided zero traffic and if it was permitted in the law.

M B Patil said, "Because the governor had asked us to provide rebel MLAs security, we did that. Zero traffic was not provided to them."

Congress leader H K Patil objected and wanted the Home minister to investigate if there were any orders for the facility.

"Everyone has seen how they were given zero traffic. The Home minister will have to find out who gave the permission," Patil said.

When M B Patil said there was no zero traffic facility, Ramaswamy walked out of the Assembly saying, "How can I stay in the House, when the Home minister is lying blatantly on the floor of the House?"

As Patil was about to clarify, Speaker intervened. He wanted to know the protocol for zero traffic and persons eligible for the facility. 

"You should say if zero traffic was provided or not. If there was zero traffic, then who gave the permission," he sought to know.

Kumar did not buy Patil's version and said: "Giving protection and providing zero traffic are two things. It is a very serious issue. I want to know whose orders did officers receive. Don't go about beating around the bush."

Patil said that there were no orders and the zero traffic facility was not provided.

Kumar lost cool and asked, "Does your conscience permit to say zero traffic was not given? The entire country has watched it. Provide the facility to criminals. Don't provide it to patriots, those who work for the country, work for people. If you set this precedent once, what will happen to the system? How will we conduct ourselves in future?" 

There was a stunning silence in the House when Kumar gave his piece of mind.

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