Opposition, govt trade barbs over suspension of MLAs in Karnataka
Followed protocol while deputing IAS officers to receive delegates: CM; Bureaucrats were made to work like clerks: Bommai
BENGALURU: Opposition MLAs from BJP and JDS on Wednesday sat in front of the Speaker’s chamber, protesting against the suspension of 10 BJP MLAs, who were staging a dharna in the Assembly over the alleged misuse of IAS officers to receive delegates arriving for the opposition parties’ conclave in Bengaluru on Monday and Tuesday.
Former chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said, “This is a murder of democracy and a black day. IAS officers were made to work like clerks. There are protocol officers to pay homage to guests of the state.”
He said, “The Speaker’s position has been abused. He is a puppet in the hands of the ruling party. When we were protesting, they decided to run the House without allowing our members to go for lunch.”
BJP members Vedavyasa Kamath, Bharat Shetty, Arvind Bellad, Umanath Kotian, Dhiraj Muniraj, Yashpal Suvarna, Dr CN Ashwath Narayan, V Sunil Kumar, R Ashoka and Araga Janendra were suspended in the Assembly for their protest.
On the government’s allegation that BJP insulted Deputy Speaker Rudrappa Lamani, who is a Dalit, by throwing torn copies of Bills at him, Bommai said, “Congress insulted the deputy speaker. The Speaker has not handled the situation well in the House.’’
JDS senior leader HD Kumaraswamy, who joined in the BJP protest, said, “The Speaker has deliberately suspended the MLAs.” He said, “In 2018, I did not use officials to welcome dignitaries to my swearing-in ceremony as chief minister.”
On the suspension of MLAs, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, “Is it okay if they tear copies of the Bill and throw it at the Speaker’s chair”
On the Opposition’s allegation that Speaker has turned into a puppet in the government’s hand, he said, “If you don’t listen to BJP will you become a puppet? I have been in the Assembly for the last 40 years and have never spoken badly about the Speaker. If you protest, there is no problem. You should not be breaking glass.”
On deputing IAS officers, he said, “Chief ministers of other states, former ministers, union ministers and MPs had come to the state. We deputed officers under protocol rules. Kumaraswamy did this on May 21, 2018, when leaders of other parties were invited to his swearing-in. Even JDS functionary Danish Ali, who was not an MP or MLA, had an IAS officer YS Patil as coordinator. Today they claim in the House that they have not done anything wrong.”