14 Cong members suspended from K’taka Council for a day

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Basavaraj Horatti, the Chairperson of Karnataka Legislative Council, on Wednesday suspended 14 members belonging to the Congress from the Council for one day after they staged a protest in the well of the House demanding the sacking of ruling BJP Minister for Urban Development, Byrathi Basavaraj.

The Congress members resorted to protest after the Chairperson denied permission for discussion on the matter related to the recent local court order to lodge FIR against Byrathi Basavaraj in connection with a civil dispute case.

The Congress members displayed posters which stated called the ruling BJP ‘420 government’. They also raised slogans against the state government and demanded that they should be allowed to discuss the matter in the Assembly and the state government should assure action against Byrathi Basavaraj.

Minister for Housing, V. Somanna, stated that it is not possible to discuss the matter as it is lying with the court. Health Minister K. Sudhakar said the case has been going on for 13 years and all these days Congress was quiet on the issue, and the members of Congress worked with him till he joined the BJP.

However, the Congress members continued their protest.

After issuing a series of warnings, Horatti announced the suspension of 14 Congress members. Accordingly, Opposition leader in the Council S.R. Patil, MLCs N. Narayanaswamy, P.R. Ramesh, B.K. Hariprasad, Pratap Chandra Shetty, U.B. Venkatesh, Veena Achaiah, C.M. Ibrahim, Harish Kumar, Nazir Ahmad, R.B. Timmapur, Basavaraj Patil Itagi, V.R. Ramesh and Gopalaswamy were suspended for a day.

However, Congress MLC Narayanaswamy maintained that the court orders are against Byrathi Basavaraj.

“It is not about faking documents, the minister had faked the owner. We are suspended for questioning that. It is a Rs 300 crore fraud. The protest will continue on Thursday as well. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai should sack him (Byrathi),” he said.

Senior Congress leader C.M. Ibrahim said that suspending Congress members was not a correct decision.

“The Chairperson is a senior politician and we will apologise for what happened. The court is saying that the minister is a criminal. They should have assured action against him, the matter would have ended there,” he maintained.

Congress MLC B.K. Hariprasad said that they had not shown disrespect to the Chair. “We just asked for our right to discuss. I don’t understand why we were suspended,” he said.

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