The 13th Legislative Assembly had it all

The 13th Legislative Assembly, which witnessed unprecedented turmoil in the past three years, will have its final sitting on Friday when the ongoing budget session comes to an end. The term of the present Assembly is set to end shortly and, the new one has to be constituted by June 3.

The tenure of the 13th Assembly was marked by several unpleasant incidents on the floor of the House and, many more and serious ones involving MLAs and ministers, outside.

The conduct of the MLAs was at it worst in October 2010, when Independent member Goolihatti Shekar pounded his bare chest after ripping off his shirt on the floor of the House and challenged the then chief minister B S Yeddyurappa for removing him from the Cabinet and recommending his disqualification as MLA under the Anti-Defection Act.

Shekar and 15 other MLAs, who were disqualified by Speaker K G Bopaiah, virtually turned the House into a battle field when they were not allowed to enter the Assembly hall. Glass doors were smashed, policemen and marshals were beaten up and foul words were freely hurled, marking a new low in the history of the State Assembly.

Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah was seen standing on a table questioning the Speaker about his conduct. In the melee, the Yeddyurappa government managed to win the trust vote.

The 13th Assembly also witnessed many unusual developments. It saw three chief ministers - Yeddyurappa, D V Sadananda Gowda and Jagadish Shettar.

Yeddyurappa resigned as chief minister on July 31, 2011 following his indictment by the Lokayukta report for illegal denotifications. He became the first former chief minister of the State to go spend time in prison.

It was not just Yeddyurappa who was in news for all the wrong reasons. Sorab MLA H Halappa, who recently resigned as MLA, had to step down as minister in 2010 after he was named accused in a rape case in Shimoga.

Mining barron G Janardhana Reddy, who remote-controlled the BJP government, was arrested by the CBI in September 2011. Similarly, scam-accused Katta Subramanaya Naidu had to give up his ministership. Later, he was arrested by the Lokayukta police and was lodged in the prison.

For the first time in the State, a Lokayukta court convicted and sentenced an MLA for accepting bribe. The ruling party legislator from KGF,  Y Sampangi had to do time at Parappana Agrahara prison for accepting a bribe of Rs five lakh. 

The most embarrassing moment the House witnessed was on February 7, 2012 when three ministers, Lakshman Savadi, C C Patil and Krishna Palemar were caught on camera watching porn clippings on a cell phone. It is another thing that a House committee absolved Patil and Palemar in its probe report. The three were, however, forced to quit as ministers.

Soon after the 13th Assembly was constituted in 2008, the State witnessed a new political trend - “Operation Lotus,” under which the ruling BJP poached at less 20 MLAs from the Opposition parties to ensure stability to its government.

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