Congress, JD-S protest BJP move to suspend their legislators

Friday, January 14, 2011

BANGALORE - The Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) Friday threatened various types of agitation if Karnataka’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party goes ahead with its plan to suspend some of their legislators for unruly behaviour in the assembly.

The Congress, the main opposition party in Karnataka, said all its assembly members might quit if eight of them are suspended for their behaviour during the trust vote as sought by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa in October last year.

The JD-S said it would begin ‘dharna’ (sit-in protest) outside Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the governor, from Monday if the BJP does not scrap the move.

An assembly panel, set up by Speaker K.G. Bopaiah, has recommended that 15 legislators, eight of the Congress and seven of the JD-S, be suspended for “unruly behaviour” during the trust vote.

The panel, in its report tabled in the assembly Thursday, has said eight of the 15 should be suspended for one year and the rest for six months.

“It will be an undemocratic action. We will fight it. All our MLAs (members of the legislative assembly) will not hesitate to resign in protest,” Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah of the Congress told reporters here.

Leader of the JD-S party in the assembly H.D.Revanna said the two parties would start ‘dharna’ in front of Raj Bhavan from Monday.

“We will launch a state-wide agitation if our MLAs are suspended,” he said.

The 15 legislators have been found guilty of “unruly behaviour, disobeying rules and procedures of the assembly and showing disrespect to the speaker” during the trust vote that was held amid bedlam on Oct 11 last year.

Yeddyurappa sought the trust vote following the rebellion by 11 BJP and five Independent members, which reduced his government to a minority in the 225-member house.

Ahead of the trust vote, the 16 were disqualified leading to uprorarious scenes in the assembly as it brought the effective total strength of the house and enabled Yeddyurappa to retain his slender majority.

Yeddyurappa sought another trust vote two days later after Governor H.R. Bhardwaj termed the Oct 11 vote as improper. He won 106 votes in favour and 100 against.

Following a plea by the BJP, the speaker set up a panel to probe the action of the 15 legislators and recommend action against them.

The Congress and the JD-S contend that Yeddyurappa wants to suspend their members to remain in power fearing that the courts would overturn the disqualification of the 16 legislators.

The 11 BJP legislators’ case is pending in the Supreme Court while the high court is hearing the case of the five Independents.

The effective strength of the assembly now is 206, of which the BJP has 105 members, the Congress 71, the JD-S 27, Independent 1, nominated one, speaker one and 19 seats, including 16 disqualified, are vacant.

Filed under: Politics

will not be displayed