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Ruckus in Karnataka Legislative Council: Dy CM, minister had key role, shouldn’t get govt posts, says Panel

The ruckus took place when BJP legislators tried to dislodge Chairman K Prathapchandra Shetty with the help of the JDS after the Chairman rejected on technical grounds a no-confidence motion against him by the BJP.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: January 30, 2021 8:31:46 am
Karnataka Legislative Council, Karnataka Legislative Council ruckus, BJP law minister J C Madhuswamy, C N Ashwathnarayan, indian express newsJ C Madhuswamy, C N Ashwathnarayan.

A committee of Karnataka Legislative Council constituted to probe the ruckus on December 15 has named then BJP law minister J C Madhuswamy, Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwathnarayan and a council secretary as having played key roles in the disruption.

Madhuswamy now holds the Minor Irrigation portfolio.

The ruckus took place when BJP legislators tried to dislodge Chairman K Prathapchandra Shetty with the help of the JDS after the Chairman rejected on technical grounds a no-confidence motion against him by the BJP.

Then Deputy Chairman S L Dharmegowda of JDS — who died by suicide on December 28 — was convinced into occupying the Chairman’s seat. Opposition Congress battled the BJP’s efforts to prevent Shetty from entering the House to occupy his chair.

A five-member committee headed by JDS MLC Marithibbe Gowda was constituted by the Chairman to probe the ruckus.

The panel, which studied video footage from multiple sources and questioned key people, provided an interim report to the Chairman on January 22. The report was tabled in the House Friday.

Two BJP members in the panel, A H Vishwanath and S V Sankanur, quit the committee during the probe.

“The law and parliamentary affairs minister J C Madhuswamy and the deputy chief minister and minister for higher education Dr C N Ashwathnarayan have behaved in an unparliamentary and illegal manner in instigating the deputy chairman to illegally occupy the seat of the chairman. The videos of the day show that they are the root causes of the incidents and it is recommended that they should not be given positions in the government,” the panel stated.

BJP MLCs Dr Narayanaswamy, M K Pranesh, who was elected Deputy Chairman Friday, and Arun Shahpur locked the door to prevent entry of the Chairman, the panel stated, recommending a ban on them for two sessions. The committee recommended a ban on minister and BJP leader Srinivas Poojary for two sessions.

Congress’s Nazeer Ahmed, Prakash Rathod, Y A Narayanaswamy, Srinivas Mane and Chandrashekhar Patil must be banned for one session, the panel stated. They were responsible for dragging the Deputy Chairman out of the Chairman’s seat and placing Chandrashekhar Patil on it until the Chairman arrived to adjourn the House sine die, the report stated. JDS members Basavaraj Horatti, who is likely to become Chairman with BJP support, K T Srikantegowda and Govindaraju should be banned for two sessions for forcing the Deputy Chairman to sit illegally on the Chairman’s seat, the panel stated.“The secretary has stated that the deputy chairman illegally occupied the seat of the chairman however the probe against the deputy chairman is being dropped on account of his death,” the report stated.

The committee blamed then Council secretary K R Mahalakshmi for dereliction of duty and sought her suspension until a final report is submitted.

“In this incident as per the statements of the secretary herself she had prior knowledge from media reports of what will occur in the house and as a result had obtained photo copies of the concerned rules which were provided to the deputy chairman while asking him to chair the session and she did not inform the chairman about the prior knowledge she had obtained. This indicates that the incidents were pre planned,” it stated.

The ruling BJP has been attempting to gain control of the Council to push through key legislation like Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020 and new labour laws.

With the BJP and JDS joining forces, Chairman Shetty is expected to resign on account of a no-confidence motion. The BJP is looking to offer the post to Horatti. The JDS backed BJP Friday in electing Pranesh as Deputy Chairman.

The BJP has 31 members in the 75-member Council and the Congress has 29. The JDS has 13 members following the death of Dharmegowda and there is one Independent member.

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