The last session of the 13th Assembly was adjourned sine-die on Friday. Though the members expressed satisfaction over the overall conduct of the House which had 167 sittings, there was a feeling that the 13th Assembly could have been more productive and healthy than it was in the last five years.
This Assembly could well go into the history as the one which saw many firsts — starting from the resignation of the Opposition MLAs under the controversial “Operation Lotus”, to the disqualification of 16 ruling party MLAs, including independents and their subsequent reinstatement by the Supreme Court, the resignation of 14 MLAs loyal to former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, and the sacking of three ministers for watching porn-clips inside the House.
These developments also proved to be a challenge for Speaker K G Bopaiah, whose conduct came in for sharp criticism on many occasions, including when he disappeared from his office just before 12 MLAs loyal to Yeddyurappa went to submit their resignation.
Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Sureshkumar said that perhaps no other Speaker had faced the worst and best times like Bopaiah in the history of the state’s legislature. “He faced several unprecedented situations in the last four year. I want him to write a book on his days as the Speaker narrating the political developments and how he faced them. It will make an interesting reading,” Kumar suggested during his farewell speech on Friday.
Bopaiah on his part expressed satisfaction over his performance, though he did not mention the controversies in his last speech. “I have the satisfaction of giving my best to uphold the dignity of this house. In the process, if at all I have hurt anybody, I regret,” he said wishing all the sitting MLAs would return to the 14 Assembly.
Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar thanked the members of both the Houses for their cooperation and said he never got upset when the Opposition parties criticised his government.
Deputy Leader of Opposition T B Jayachandra expressed surprise over BJP government completing its full term. “From day one, this government never looked stable. Everybody thought that it would fall anytime. But, some how it completed its term,” he said.
Congress member PM Ashok, recalling the day-night dharna they staged in 2010 said they had great opportunity to sleep in the Assembly hall for three nights. “Even world’s richest man won’t get an opportunity to sleep in the Assembly, Congress members were lucky,” he said.