JDS MLAs wear "helmets" to "protect themselves" in Assembly

Last Updated: Monday, July 12, 2010 - 20:00

Bangalore: Opposition JDS MLAs wore yellow
colour mining helmets in the Karnataka Assembly for
"protection" from some ruling BJP members, as the House
witnessed high drama for the second day today.

The action of the JDS members stemming from a row over
illegal mining in the state invited a strong rebuke from
Speaker K G Bopaiah, who asked them to remove the helmets
saying "We are holding the session in the Legislative
Assembly; not on the street".

The members justified their action saying they needed
to protect themselves in the wake of allegations of threat of
attack by some ruling BJP MLAs, who tried to rush towards the
Opposition last Friday. Congress had called the BJP members`
tactics as criminal intimidation.

As the House met today, a united Congress and JDS
continued to stage a dharna in the well of the Assembly,
demanding that the five BJP MLAs be suspended for remaining
days of the session and the Speaker lodge a police complaint
against them.

The five from the mineral-rich Bellary district are:
Tourism and Infrastructure Development Minister G Janardhana
Reddy, Revenue Minister G Karunakara Reddy, G Somashekara
Reddy, all brothers, T H Suresh Babu and B Nagendra.

Unruly scenes were witnessed on Friday after the Chair
adjourned the House as Congress and JDS staged dharna in the
well following a heated debate on illegal mining, sticking to
its position that Janardhana Reddy be allowed to speak after
Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah sought clarifications from
Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on the issue.

Following the din, Bopaiah adjourned the House to meet
on Monday. Minutes later the five were seen engaged in heated
exchange of words with some Congress members, particularly
Dinesh Gundu Rao and N L Narendra Babu.

Suresh Babu was seen trying to rush towards the
Opposition members who were in the well staging a dharna.

Siddaramaiah termed the behaviour of the five ruling
party MLAs as one amounting to criminal intimidation, a
cognisable and non-bailable offence and demanded lodging of a
police complaint against them by the Speaker and their
suspension for the remainder of the session.

He reiterated the demand today, as the House was
adjourned twice, with the Opposition continuing its dharna.

After Siddaramaiah`s remarks, the Speaker allowed
Janardhana Reddy to speak but during the course of his
"explantion", the Deputy Floor Leader of Congress, T B
Jayachandra, objected to the Tourism Minister being given an
opportunity.

As pandemonium again broke out with ruling and opposition
members trying to make themselves heard, the House was
adjourned again.

A meeting convened by the Speaker with Opposition leaders
during the morning session to break the deadlock was not
fruitful.

Earlier, Bopaiah refused to allow JDS members speak,
saying they first need to remove the helments. He also ticked
off the members.

PTI



First Published: Monday, July 12, 2010 - 20:00

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