BELAGAVI: The issue of the alleged involvement of Urban Development Minister Bharati Basavraraj and BJP Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) R Shankar in the alleged land grabbing reverberated in the Assembly on Friday.
It eventually led to the adjournment of the house till Monday when the Congress leaders rushed to the well of the house to protest the ruling of Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri against the adjournment motion moved by Opposition leader Siddaramaiah to discuss it.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and other members of the ruling party were against the motion and pleaded strongly with the speaker not to entertain it. Bommai said the court is already seized of the matter by taking cognizance and given its direction hearing a private complaint. Moreover, when the matter was sub judice it could not be discussed in the house. So the speaker should not allow the motion, he insisted and added, “Trial of the case cannot be held in the house, but should be in the court. Also, it may influence the court proceedings”.
Right after the question hour, Siddaramaiah wanted the motion, moved under Rule 60 of the house, to be considered. But the speaker maintained that the motion cannot be contemplated under the rule it has been moved and said, he was rejecting the motion. This move of Hegde angered the Congress members and the opposition leader demanded taking up the motion for discussion as done in the cases of constable V K Ganapati and IAS officer D K Ravi, in the past.
Siddramaiah said, the very BJP members, while in opposition, had moved the motion under the same rule and the then speaker KB Koliwad had accepted and allowed for discussion on aforesaid cases. After that, Home Minister K J George had resigned and the government had handed over the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Once the CBI proved him innocent, he was made minister again. Similarly, let minister Basavaraj resign and come back to cabinet after proved unblemished by the court, he insisted.
Reacting to this argument, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J Maduswamy noted that accepting the motion could be unconstitutional and against the rule of the house. If it was done in the past, that could not be repeated and it would set a bad precedent. The Speaker should take cognizance of the rules while the issue raised by the Congress members is sub judice.
Continuing his insistence for accepting the motion, the opposition leader said, cases of Ganapati and Ravi were quite similar to that of Basavaraj and they were also sub judice while the speaker allowed. Then, the chief minister shot back by saying that criminal and civil cases cannot be compared. Angered over Bommai’s remark, Siddaramaiah charged that the government has no morality and no right to continue in the office.
While the speaker reiterated on rejecting the adjournment motion, Siddaramaiah led all the Congress members to jump into the well of the house to protest. As they continued to protest, the speaker adjourned the house till Monday.