The winter session of the State legislature that began in Belgaum on Monday witnessed protests both inside and outside the venue of the session.
While sugarcane farmers and various organisations held protests outside the Suvarna Soudha, the Legislative Assembly plunged into pandemonium repeatedly owing to protests by the Opposition, who moved into the well of the House demanding a discussion on problems of farmers, especially sugarcane growers.
As soon as the House paid tributes to various personalities who died recently, the Opposition drew Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa’s attention to the protests by sugarcane farmers demanding remunerative prices and the plight of growers of other produce who were distressed due to price instability.
They demanded they be allowed to move an adjournment motion — which has censuring provision after the debate — on the issue. When the Speaker said that their demand would be examined only after the Question hour, they trooped into the well of the House and staged a dharna demanding that the Question hour be put off considering the importance of the issue being raised by them. They also shouted slogans against the government.
Finally bowing to pressure, Mr. Thimmappa allowed them to make a preliminary submission on the admissibility of the adjournment motion sought to be moved by them. After hearing them, he ruled that he would allow them to discuss the issue under Rule 69 that does not have censuring provision.
Even as Leader of the Opposition H.D. Kumarasway was making preliminary submissions on the adjournment motion, Karnataka Janata Paksha president B.S. Yeddyurappa began a dharna in the well of the House with six MLAs of his party, demanding that the Shaadi Bhagya scheme be extended to the poor of all sections instead of confining it to minorities.
Despite repeated requests by the Speaker and Minister for Law T.B. Jayachandra to formally seek the government’s response by officially raising the issue in the House before resorting to protest, Mr. Yeddyurappa continued the protest
He alleged the government had ignored his plea though he had been staging a protest in Bangalore for 25 days. Choosing to stage the dharna alone, he asked his party MLAs to return to their seats.