On Tuesday, a ruckus broke out in the Karnataka Legislative Council after Congress legislator opposed the JDS MLC and Deputy Chairman SL Dharmegowda from taking the Chair. The Council had met for a day-long session after CM Yediyurappa had petitioned the Governor that important bills, including the new cow slaughter bill, had to be passed by the government.
As per reports, the chaos began over a no-confidence Motion against the incumbent Chairman and Congress MLC Prathap Chandra Shetty. The motion was initiated by the BJP, with the support of the JDS, against Shetty as the House had no confidence in him. The ruling BJP argued that since the motion was against Shetty, therefore, he could not preside over the session.
The Congress MLCs alleged that the Chairman was locked outside and prevented from taking the Chair. When JDS MLC and Deputy Chairman SL Dharmegowda, Congress MLCs gheraoed and manhandled him. The angry Congress legislators then ambushed the well of the House, gheraoed the Deputy Chairman and began manhandling him. They also attempted to remove him from his Chair.
In a video shared by ANI, the Congress leaders, namely, Naseer Ahmed and Narayana Swamy could be seen pulling SL Dharmegowda from his seat while the BJP MLCs tried to pull him back. The Congress leaders claimed that it was unconstitutional for him to occupy the Chair. This prompted a dozen House marshals to intervene and come to his rescue. Amidst the scuffle, the Council has been adjourned sine die.
India Today reported that another issue that led to the chaos was the cow slaughter bill. While the BJP wanted to pass the bill, the Congress was opposed to it. JDS, however, wanted to send the bill before a select committee. The BJP insisted on the No-Confidence Motion to remove Chairman Shetty as they believed that the bill might be referred to the select committee by the combined Opposition.
Chairman earlier declined no-confidence against him
Earlier, the BJP had requested the Chairman to move a no-confidence motion against him on December 11. Shetty, declined the motion, citing the requirement of a 14-day notice period. He had also adjourned the House earlier than the schedule on December 10. As such, the BJP argued that he could not preside over his own no-confidence motion on Tuesday. BJP leader Srinivas Poojary said, “In our view, as the Council chairman (Shetty) does not enjoy the confidence of the House. He cannot adjourn the session abruptly when a motion against him and important Bills have to be passed.”
Political reactions on the incident
While speaking on the incident, BJP MLC Lehar Singh Siroya said, “Few MLCs behaved like goons by forcibly removed Vice-Chairman of Legislative council from the chair and misbehaving with him.” He added, “We have never seen such a shameful day in our council’s history. I’m feeling ashamed about what the public might be thinking about us.”
However, Congress MLC Prakash Rathod justified the incident and said, “Congress asked him to get down the Chair. We had to evict him as it was an illegal sitting.” He also blamed the BJP and JDS for making SL Dharme Gowda make an illegal sitting, when the House was not in order.