Bengaluru: The Congress kicked up an uproar in the Karnataka Assembly today over allegedly ‘derogatory’ remarks made by the BJP’s senior legislator and former Union minister Basangouda Patil Yatnal against freedom fighter H S Doreswamy.
As a result, no business was conducted on the first day of the budget session.
The house was adjourned twice to facilitate talks between the speaker and Congress floor leaders. The talks failed as Congress members demanded a discussion on Yatnal without notice and speaker Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri insisted he would allow one only if a notice was filed.
With the talks thus stalemated, Congress members decided to intensify their agitation in the House until a discussion was allowed.
Opposition leader Siddaramaiah said Yatnal’s remarks against Doreswamy were certainly derogatory in nature and also in contempt of the House. “Yatnal called Doreswamy a Pakistan agent and a fake freedom fighter. Stringent action must be taken against the BJP legislator,” he said.
As Congress members staged a dharna in the House, ruling party BJP MLAs asked them derisively what action ought to have been taken against those who made derogatory remarks against prime minister Narendra Modi.
Parliamentary affairs minister J C Madhuswamy said it would be improper if the chair allowed the opposition to raise the matter without notice. Ministers C T Ravi and K S Eshwarappa joined him in support of the argument.
Earlier in the day, Siddaramaiah pleaded with the speaker to allow him to make a preliminary submission on the matter. Since the BJP member has shown disrespect to a freedom fighter, it was a matter of public importance that merited a discussion.
But the speaker did not allow the opposition to make a preliminary submission and proceeded with the agenda of the day. Both Congress and JD(S) members staged a protest in the House, in the midst of which chief minister B S Yediyurappa replied to the governor's address.
The remarks in question were made by Yatnal at the Constitution Day celebrations in Vijayapura. He said, “There are many freedom fighters in this country, and one is staying in Bengaluru. Doreswamy behaves like a Pakistan agent. He is a fake freedom fighter.
“He should behave properly because his statements have hurt many. He has also given statements against prime minister Narendra Modi.”