BENGALURU: The ruling BJP faced embarrassing moments in the Karnataka legislative assembly as its MLAs Basangouda Patil Yatnal and Arvind Bellad trooped into the well of the House demanding reply from Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on the issue of reservation demands by various communities.
Earlier raising the issue, Yatnal said at a session held six months ago the then Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had assured members that he would consider the demands of various communities on reservation within six months and provide social justice to all sections, and that deadline had expired on September 15.
He said the demands by various communities are to include Kuruba community under STs, increasing ST reservation from three to 7.5 per cent, to include Madivala community among SCs, Panchamasali Lingayat community and related sects with different nomenclatures to be considered under Category 2A of OBC.
Citing that protests have already begun in this regard and urging the government to clarify to the House whether it will fulfil the assurance given by the then Chief Minister, Yatnal said both Chief Minister and Law Minister were not present in the House to reply to the issue raised by him.
When Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri pointed out that Minister C C Patil was ready to reply as both CM and Law Minister were in the Legislative Council, Yatnal said he sought a response only from the Chief Minister and wanted the Chair to specify as to when he will get the reply.
As the Speaker said the member will get the reply once the Chief Minister is in the House, Yatnal, not convinced by it, entered the well and said he would stage a protest.
He was followed by Bellad.
Both Yatnal and Bellad hail from the Panchamasali Lingayat community that is demanding to be considered under Category 2A of OBC.
Intervening, Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah said, Yatnal should either accept reply from Minister C C Patil as he is part of the Cabinet with collective responsibility, or wait for the CM to come from the Upper House.
“Please don’t waste the time of the House.”
Following assurance from the Chair and C C Patil to get the response from the CM, Yatnal and Bellad withdrew.
On the other hand, the House also witnessed Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri losing cool and warning MLAs against forcing him to name them for indisciplined behaviour in the House.
“There are some MLAs, I will make a list and tell their names next time. Those who are disobeying the chair and indulging in indiscipline. We have a list of members who are behaving in an undisciplined manner. I don’t want to read it out in the open, I don’t want to expose you like that, but if any one behaves in a manner disregarding the dignity of the House and the Chair, I will be forced to do it,” he said.
Stating that there are rules and rule books on how to behave in the House, he said, “if you want to speak in the way you want, do it at your public meetings, not here.”
The Speaker also urged the legislature party leaders of BJP, Congress and JD(S) to guide their party legislators on rules of the House, how to conduct themselves in the House, how to raise issues under different rules and the importance of the proceedings.
“If this is not done, I will not be able to conduct the proceedings of the House with this kind of indiscipline, and I will be forced to take strict measures, which will not be good. So, I request leaders to guide their legislators. What is the rule book for?” he asked.
Kageri was irked by the conduct of some opposition MLAs as they wanted to speak on an issue raised by JD(S) MLA Suresh Gowda on the alleged disparity in the grants given to backward taluks, during the zero hour, despite the Chair repeatedly telling the members that it may be taken up later as the Minister is not in a position to reply on the issue immediately, as it has just been addressed to him.
The speaker also took exception to senior ministers not coming to his aid in running the House smoothly, pointing to vacant seats on the first row of treasury benches.