Bengaluru, March 2 (IANS) Bedlam prevailed on Monday in the Karnataka assembly when the opposition Congress blasted ruling BJP legislator Basanagouda Patil Yatnal for his derogatory remarks against centenarian freedom-fighter H.S. Doreswamy.

“Yatnal should not only withdraw the derogatory remarks, but also apologise to Doreswamy for insulting him and the 90-year freedom struggle,” Congress leader Siddaramaiah thundered.

When Speaker Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri asked Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to reply to the motion of thanks to the Governor Vajubhai Vala’s address to the joint session on February 17, Siddaramaiah sought an urgent discussion on Yatnal’s tirade against the freedom-fighter as it was of national importance.

As the ruling BJP members protested against Siddaramaiah for raising an issue without prior notice and as it was not listed for discussion on the first day of the month-long budget session, the Congress lawmakers rushed into the well of the House and staged a protest against Yatnal.

Opposition Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) members also joined the protest and stood in the well of the House and raised slogans against Yatnal, a former railway minister in the Vajpayee government.

The Vijayapura legislator termed Doreswamy a “fake freedom-fighter” and a “Pakistani agent” for associating with “anti-nationalist” elements like former JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar and student activist Amulya who shouted ‘Pakistan zindabad’ on February 20 at an anti-CAA rally in the city.

“Yatnal’s remarks violate the Constitution as he dis-respected a freedom-fighter, who fought for the country’s independence,” reiterated Siddaramaiah.

Doreswamy, born on April 10, 1918 near Mysuru, about 150 km southwest of Bengaluru, joined the freedom movement when he was in the intermediate college in Bengaluru during the mid-1930s. He was arrested for joining the Quit India movement along with his brother and other freedom fighters.

Since the opposition members refused to budge from the well of the House and continued to raise slogans against Yatnal, preventing Yediyurappa from speaking, the Speaker adjourned the session for lunch.

After repeated adjournments, the motion was adopted by voice-vote amid noisy scenes by the opposition members from the well when the House met after lunch.

Heated exchanges were also witnessed when the ruling party members referred to Doreswamy’s statements criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and freedom-fighter Veer Savarkar (1883-1966).

–IANS

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