Staff Correspondent

The House debated whether the Governor can 'oversee' proceedings

Members' statements Even courts cannot interfere with the functioning of the House An Uttar Pradesh Governor who sent officials to the Legislative Assembly was recalled Speaker should write to the Governor

Bangalore: Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Krishna on Friday reserved ruling on the objection raised by some members of the House to the presence of two Raj Bhavan officials as the House began proceedings to take up the vote of confidence motion.

The Assembly proceedings, which were to start at 10 a.m., began an hour behind schedule. At the outset, G.V. Srirama Reddy (Communist Party of India-Marxist) brought to the notice of the Speaker the presence of the two Raj Bhavan officials S. Gurumurthy and Sharada Subramaniam in the officials' gallery. He said they had come as observers of the proceedings and cannot be allowed to remain in the House. Even courts cannot interfere in the functioning of the House, which was substantiated by the recent decision of Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who refused to take cognisance of a notice served on him by the Supreme Court following a petition by MPs who were expelled in the "cash-for-question" scandal.

Mr. Reddy was supported by Kannada Chaluvali leader Vatal Nagaraj, K. Rajendran of the Republican Party of India and Jayaprakash Hegde, independent member. Quoting a precedent in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly, they said the then Governor of that State was reprimanded and recalled for sending his officials to the House. The Speaker said they had been issued passes to the gallery.

Ministers M. Mallikarjun Kharge and H.K. Patil and others protested against the presence of the officials and urged the Speaker to write to Governor T.N. Chaturvedi. They said the Speaker was the custodian of the House.

The practice of Governors coming to the House to oversee proceedings was discontinued as it was seen as an anomaly, they added.

Leader of the Opposition B.S. Yediyurappa left it to the discretion of the Speaker to take up the next item on the agenda - obituary references - but sought a direction to Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh to move the motion of confidence as per the Governor's directive.

During the debate, the two officers from the Raj Bhavan left the officials' gallery.

Although the Governor had directed the Chief Minister to seek a vote of confidence in the Legislative Assembly on Friday, the House had not included it on its agenda.

Party members led by Mr. Yediyurappa demanded that Speaker Krishna direct the Chief Minister to table the motion and prove that the government enjoys majority, as directed by the Governor.

Condolences

The members mourned the death of eminent persons, including former President K.R. Narayanan; former Union Minister P.M. Sayeed; former Minister B.S. Patil; former Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President and MP V. Krishna Rao; former legislators G. Narayana Kumar, Bhimaneni Kondaiah, and M.R. Tanga; eye surgeon M.C. Modi; Shantadevi Malavada, writer; L.R. Hegde, folklore scholar; D.M. Nanjundappa, former Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Board; S.G. Mysore Math and K. Raja Rao, journalists; and Vajramuni, film artiste.

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