Karnataka assembly session meets unruly end

Karnataka assembly session meets unruly end

The pandemonium led to chants of 'RSS Zindabad', 'Chowkidar Chor Hai',  'NEP Beda' and 'Jai Shri Ram' echoing in the assembly.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai speaks during the Assembly session, in Bengaluru. Credit: PTI Photo

Disorder reigned in the Assembly as all Congress legislators, including Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, jumped into the well of the House seeking an extension of the legislature session to discuss the NEP, which they said was an RSS agenda. 

The pandemonium led to chants of “RSS Zindabad”, “Chowkidar Chor Hai”,  “NEP Beda” and “Jai Shri Ram” echoing in the Assembly. 

It started when Congress MLAs JN Ganesh and Dr HD Ranganath entered the well of the House seeking time for their issues to be discussed. Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, however, was in a hurry to wind up business by 1 pm, after which he was to receive Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. 

Soon, all Congress legislators stood in the well. 

“As a party, we decided not to protest so that we can discuss people’s issues. But our members aren’t getting time or answers for their problems. We want the session to be extended by one more week,” Siddaramaiah said. 

Specifically, Siddaramaiah said he needed time to discuss the NEP. “It is Nagpur education policy,” he said, referring to the headquarters of the RSS, the BJP’s ideological parent. “It’s an RSS agenda.” 

Kageri asked what was wrong with that. “Even if it is Nagpur-RSS agenda, what’s wrong if its actually good? The RSS agenda will be good,” he said, which enraged the Congress MLAs. 

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai rose to counter the Congress’ attack on the RSS. “Nation, nationalism and RSS are all the same. The NEP helps our kids become ready for the 21st century,” he said. “And yes, it is an RSS education policy. We accept it,” he said, adding that the NEP underwent discussions for three years. “The NEP is for Indians by Indians. Theirs (Congress) is the Videshi education policy.” 

This led to a volley with both sides shouting at each other and a slogan contest ensued.  

Amid the din, Kageri called on Health Minister K Sudhakar to begin his reply on the Covid-19 debate. With the noise soaring, Sudhakar chose to simply lay his reply without completing it. 

Finally, Kageri adjourned the session sine die. 

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