Despite pressure, Yediyurappa rules out curtailing legislature session

‘How do we instil confidence among people if legislators themselves fear and go back?’

Amid commercial lockdown announced in nine districts, including Bengaluru, and pressure from many legislators to curtail the legislature session, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Sunday clarified that the session would continue till passing of the Budget.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has clarified that Parliament session will not be curtailed even for a day. We have decided to continue with the session till the Budget is passed on March 27,” the Chief Minister told presspersons here on Sunday evening. “If legislators and parliamentarians fear and go back, how do we instil confidence among the public at this point in time?” he wondered.

Mr. Yediyurappa’s response came in the light of the suggestion made by the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who on Saturday sought adjournment of the session to maintain social distancing at the time when COVID-19 cases are on the rise. Earlier in the day, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J.C. Madhuswamy too said the session would be under way from Monday.

Sources in the Secretariat said that the crucial discussion and voting on the money Bill was yet to be completed in both the Houses, and that without the passage of the Bill before March 31 regular expenditure of the government would come to a standstill. This would be crucial when the State is fighting COVID-19, sources said.

While there are other Bills pending, sources pointed out that in case of adjournment of the session, the government would have to seek a vote on account for three months so that the State would be able to undertake regular expenditure.

A similar situation with respect to the passage of Budget occurred last year when the Janata Dal (Secular)–Congress coalition government was on the brink following which a vote on account was passed.

While several legislators have expressed their anxiety about the spread of COVID-19, many of them also want the session to continue as they feel that the State government will be more responsible during the session. “If the session is adjourned, the government cannot be questioned effectively. During the session, the government will be more responsible and accountable to the Opposition as its actions can be quickly questioned and it can be forced to act responsibly,” a senior Congress leader said, and added that many of them were not keen on the the session’s adjournment nor have they sought it.

Meanwhile, the election for the post of the Deputy Speaker, which fell vacant owing to the resignation of Janata Dal (Secular) member M. Krishna Reddy, has been slated for Tuesday. BJP legislators Araga Jnanendra and V. Chandrashekar Mamani are in the race.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 2:51:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/despite-pressure-yediyurappa-rules-out-curtailing-legislature-session/article31139993.ece

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