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Pell-mell in Council on the issue of Chairman's election

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UNRELENTING: Congress members (from left) H.K. Patil, V.R. Sudarshan, Salim Ahmed, and B.K. Chandrashekar making a forceful demand in the Legislative Council that the election to the post of Chairman be held, in Bangalore on Thursday. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy
UNRELENTING: Congress members (from left) H.K. Patil, V.R. Sudarshan, Salim Ahmed, and B.K. Chandrashekar making a forceful demand in the Legislative Council that the election to the post of Chairman be held, in Bangalore on Thursday. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Staff Reporter

In thelegislature Proceedings stalled as Congress wants Government to act immediately

  • Congress does not want Thippanna in the Chair
  • Prakash takes on Opposition on the issue

    BANGALORE: Pandemonium prevailed in the Legislative Council with the Congress stalling the proceedings demanding that the Government announce election to the Chairman's post immediately.

    As soon as the House reassembled on Thursday after week's interval, Leader of the Opposition H. K. Patil requested N. Thippanna, who was in the chair, that he vacate it with due respect to the Constitution and democratic values as he was only thrust upon the House by the Government for its political convenience. "It is unfortunate to see you becoming a puppet in the hands of the Government," he said.

    Mr. Patil said Mr. Thippanna was not properly elected to the post, the ad hoc measures taken by the Government was "improper, illegal and undemocratic." The Chair should be kept vacant until the election was announced, he added.

    Even as he was speaking, Minister for Primary and Secondary Basavaraj Horatti said that the Congress should remember how it handled an identical situation when it was in power.

    Irritated by Mr. Horatti's observation, the Congress members started shouting slogans demanding election and created noisy scene.

    Speaking amid the din, M.P. Nadagouda of the Janata Dal (United) said the House was caught in a strange situation for the first time due to the absence of Deputy Chairman Sachidanand L. Khot, who met with an accident recently. The situation had also put Mr. Thippanna in an awkward position. It was the responsibility of all those concerned to find a solution that would ensure that the proceedings of the House was not jeopardised until the election was held.

    Minister for Home, Law and Parliamentary Affairs M.P. Prakash intervened to request the Opposition to cooperate with the Government and allow the House to transact its scheduled business.

    Annoyed by some passing remarks, which were not clearly heard, made by some of the Opposition members, Mr. Prakash wanted to know what the Congress had to say for procrastinating on the Chairman's election for over 14 months during its administration. "Now, you are demanding the elections. But were you doing then. Please do not preach me Constitution and ideals. What prevented your government from holding the election then is also preventing my Government from doing that. Tell me what you want," Mr. Prakash told the Opposition.

    In response, Mr. Patil said that the Opposition would disclose what it wanted only at a meeting convened for the purpose.

    Mr. Prakash agreed to convene a meeting.

    But the meeting did not take place during the lunch break though Mr. Prakash had given an assurance in this regard.

    The Opposition members took exception to this when the House re-assembled after the break.

    Mr. Thippanna appealed to the Congress members to allow the House to conduct its business. He pointed out that nearly 1,215 questions had to be answered in this session. "It will be a loss to the people if the House fails to conduct its business," he reminded the protesting members.

    Finally, Mr. Thippanna adjourned the House till Friday.

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