Bengaluru: Proceedings in the Legislative Council were washed away as members of the ruling coalition staged a sit-in in the well of the House, seeking a discussion on the audio tape episode and allegations against Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar on Monday.
Members led by Congress MLC, Ivan D’Souza, displayed placards demanding the arrest of state BJP president B. S. Yeddyurappa for luring MLAs, while another placard alleged that both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah were culprits responsible for attempting to destroy democracy in Karnataka. Congress members charged Mr Yeddyurappa with direct involvement in the case and demanded he quit the Assembly. With their protest, the coalition members took Chairman Prathap Chandra Shetty and Opposition BJP legislators by surprise. Mr Shetty asked the protesting members to allow him to take up the question hour, and expressed displeasure at them for not giving notice to take up a discussion on the matter. On the other hand, BJP MLCs raised an objection over the protest in the well of the House.
Opposition leader Kota Srinivasa Poojari chided ruling party members for resorting to dharna and criticized them for bringing “disrepute” to the House by setting a new precedent in the form of a protest.
The Council was adjourned twice with ruling and opposition members refusing to pay heed to the request of Mr Shetty.
At one stage, coalition members withdrew the protest, after Chairman’s assurance of allowing a discussion, but he asked them to give notice on the issue. In the afternoon, Ivan D Souza gave notice under rule 342, urging the Chairman to allow a discussion on the audio tape episode. The Opposition members, however, raised objections on grounds that the House lacks jurisdiction to discuss issues pertaining to the Assembly. They wondered who would reply on behalf of the government in the event of the Upper House discussing this audio tape episode.