The BJP and the Congress traded heated arguments in Lok Sabha on Wednesday over the developments in Karnataka, with several opposition parties staging a walkout and accusing the Treasury benches of “indulging in cheap tricks” to destabilise a government.
The BJP maintained that it did not have any role in whatever happened in the state.
The Congress, along with the DMK, Trinamool Congress, the Samajwadi Party and other friendly parties staged a walkout, protesting against senior Karnataka Congress MLA and the party’s chief troubleshooter in the state, D K Shivakumar, not being allowed to enter a Mumbai hotel where the rebel Congress and JD(S) legislators were staying. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi countered this and said the MLAs had sought police protection, alleging a threat to their lives from Shivakumar.
Maintaining that the police are guarding the hotel premises at request of the MLAs, Joshi showed a paper and said it was a letter from the MLAs. He also said he would like to put on record that the rebel legislators have written to the Mumbai Police Commissioner about a threat to their lives from Shivakumar.
Raising the Karnataka issue during Zero Hour, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said democracy is being betrayed in the state and accused the BJP of conspiring to overthrow the Congress-JD(S) alliance government. When Speaker Om Birla pointed out that Chowdhury was raising the same issue for the third day and didn’t allow him to complete, Congress MPs rushed to the Well and raised slogans.
Shivakumar was prevented from entering the Mumbai hotel where rebel MLAs from Karnataka were staying, but insisted on meeting them in a desperate bid to pull the Congress-JD(S) government from the brink of collapse.
Later, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar hit out at the Congress for “disturbing” the House, alleging that the opposition party was not letting the House function over its internal problems in Karnataka. “The Congress is disturbing the House even after the massive defeat in the (Lok Sabha) elections and after a decisive mandate they, as well as everybody, is expected (to ensure) that the Houses run smoothly,” Javadekar said.
“Now they are raising the issue of a state, which is not allowed here. They are charging that the BJP is poaching, but actually it is the Congress which is doing all kinds of efforts,” he told reporters. Javadekar accused the Congress of offering ministerial berths to rebel MLAs and giving other “lollipops”.
According to Javadekar, internal issues in the Congress had prompted the MLAs to resign.