BANGALORE: A remark over allocation of state funds to constituencies represented by Opposition members snowballed into a heated exchange, almost derailing Assembly proceedings on Wednesday.
JD(S) members threatened to stage a protest in the well of the House and demanded an unconditional apology after taking offence to Nehru Olekar’s “provocative” remark.
The incident occurred during Question Hour when Minister for Higher Education Dr V S Acharya was replying to queries from Congress member B Ramanath Rai on grants released under the Aradhana Scheme. The Opposition members criticised the government for its partiality while releasing grants under the scheme.
“The government is liberal with grants for constituencies represented by BJP; Opposition members have been dealt a raw deal on the issue,” Rai charged. His remark drew support from the Opposition benches who demaded that the government scrap the scheme if it does not all the members on an equal footing.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah also charged the state government of releasing funds for constituencies represented by Opposition members to BJP functionaries keeping elected representatives completely in the dark.
It was during this war of words was Olekar said to have made the remark against S R Mahesh of the JD(S); this only galvanised the Opposition members, who rushed to the well of the house demanding an apology. They did not relent even when Deputy Speaker Yogish Bhat announced that the remark would be expunged.
Minister S Sureshkumar appealed to Olekar to withdraw the remark, who did so, but not before adding that his remark was nothing in comparison to the ruckus created by the Opposition earlier in the House.