Ignoring dharna by the Opposition for the second day on Tuesday, ruling BJP had its way in ensuring conduct of official business in the Assembly and “unanimous” election of its nominee N. Yogish Bhat as Deputy Speaker.

Shouting slogans, demanding debate on alleged land scams and corruption under adjournment motion, Congress and JD(S) members refused to call off their protest, insisting that the government yield to their plea.

Brushing aside their noisy protest with opposition members raising slogans like “BJP has looted thousands of crores of rupees”, government pleaded with Speaker K.G. Bopaiah to conduct the official business, which he obliged.

Amid the din, the House went through motion of laying of written answers, laying of papers on the table of the House and reports of various legislature committees.

The House also saw election of Mr. Bhat as Deputy Speaker with the motion proposing his name for the post being carried by voice vote. The Speaker rejected opposition pleas to postpone it till the courts give verdicts on disqualification of 11 BJP rebel MLAs and five independents, who had withdrawn support to the government.

The opposition launched a dharna on Monday stalling proceedings for the entire day demanding a discussion under adjournment motion on corruption charges against government and also resignation of Chief Minister Yeddyurappa.

Congress leader Siddaramaiah said holding of Deputy Speaker’s election at this stage, would amount to curbing the rights of disqualified MLAs but it was rejected by government.

Mr. Siddaramaiah accused the BJP of giving a go by to the tradition of accepting opposition nominee to the Deputy Speaker’s post. Law Minister S. Suresh Kumar, however, said since 1985 to 2004, no ruling party had followed the tradition.

Mr. Bopaiah said since the process for the election has already been initiated, it cannot be postponed and went ahead with it.

After the election, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Mr. Siddaramaiah felicitated Mr. Bhat, a four time MLA from Mangalore South constituency.

While the dharna continued, Mr. Yeddyurappa, who holds the Finance portfolio, also moved the supplementary estimates (second instalment) through which the government sought nod for spending Rs 506 crore.

Earlier, Mr. Siddaramaiah said the Opposition would not relent until the Government agreed to their demand.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said the Government was ready for a debate, but it was for the Speaker to decide under which rule it should be taken up.

He appealed to the Congress not to join hands with JD(S) and reiterated that there should be only two parties — Congress and BJP — in the State.

JD(S) should be “erased” from the political landscape of the State, Mr. Yeddyurappa said, venting his anger against H.D. Deve Gowda-led party which has been spearheading a campaign to oust the first ever BJP government in the South, alleging scams involving the Chief Minister and some ministers.

Reacting to this, Mr. Siddaramaiah hit back at Mr. Yeddyurappa, saying he joined hands with JD(S) when it was convenient and shared power with that party and was opposing it now.

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