Intensifying its refusal to ask any questions or taking part in any discussions that require replies from six cabinet ministers, Karnataka Congress members refused to pose questions to these ministers in both legislative houses on Tuesday.
The Congress refused to pose any questions to six ministers who have obtained injunction against the telecast or publication of any defamatory material against them, labelling them as ‘immoral and corrupt’.
The ministers whom the Congress has boycotted are: Labour Minister A. Shivaram Hebbar, Agriculture Minister B. C. Patil, Cooperation Minister S.T. Somashekar, Health Minister K. Sudhakar, Urban Development Minister Bhyrathi Basavaraj and Youth Empowerment, Sports, Planning, Program monitoring and Statistics minister Narayana Gowda.
These ministers approached the city court seeking ex-parte injunction order after one of their colleagues Ramesh Jarakiholi, forced to quit as a minister after a CD allegedly involving him and a woman in a compromising position unearthed on March 2.
In the Legislative Council, Congress members refused to pose questions to Somashekar during question hour but soon row erupted when the ruling BJP members decided to pose additional questions on questions asked by the Congress members.
When the ruling BJP members started posing sub questions, this angered the Congress members who trooped into well in front of the Legislative Council saying that Deputy Chairman (who was chairing the session) should not allow the ruling party members to pose sub questions.
To this Deputy Chairman, retorted stating that once the question placed by a member is tabled in the House it becomes property of the House and it can be debated by anyone in the House.
While in the Assembly at least two Congress legislators – Hoovina Hadagali MLA P.T. Parameshwar Naik and Varuna MLA Yathindra Siddaramaiah refused to pose questions to Youth Empowerment and Sports minister Narayana Gowda, during question hour.
As his turn came to pose the question, despite Narayana Gowda being ready to give a reply, Naik said that he had posed this question prior to the minister approaching the court seeking an injunction, but now he does not wish to hear a reply from an immoral and corrupt minister.
“He does not have the right to give a reply in this House,” he said.
Intervening at this juncture, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Basavaraj Bommai took serious objections to MLA’s remarks.
“It is not right on your part (Naik) to make such comments, everyone has the right constitutionally to protect their honour, and people exercise it when the time comes,” he said.
Several other BJP legislators too took strong exception to Naik’s conduct, leading to chaos in the House. As his repeated attempts to bring the House to order failed, Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri lost his cool and reprimanded Naik for his conduct and wasting the time of the House.
“If you are not interested to ask the question don’t, but don’t waste the time of the House, take your seat,” the Speaker said, raising from his chair and pointing out that this was for the first time he was on his toes in the Assembly, since taking over.
“There is a limit for everything, what do you think of this House? Do you think this is a joke? Don’t you have the courtesy to listen to the Chair and respect it? Don’t you have the basic sense? I can’t tolerate such indiscipline,” Kageri said angrily.
Last week, another Congress MLA from Chamarajanagar, Puttaranga Shetty had refused to pose a question to Gowda in the Assembly, stating that the Minister had “no moral right.”