Legislators corner Anand Singh at Ballari bifurcation meeting

‘Participation of the disqualified MLA is unethical and unconstitutional’

The meeting called by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on the proposal to bifurcate Ballari district, which eventually ended in deferment, saw disqualified MLA Anand Singh being virtually singled out for attack by the Congress and BJP legislators.

As soon as the meeting, which was attended by people’s representatives from the region, commenced, Congress MP Syed Naseer Hussain questioned the presence of Mr. Singh in the meeting of legislators. He termed the participation of a disqualified MLA in the meeting as “unethical and unconstitutional”.

“The government of the day inviting Mr. Singh to the legislators’ meeting means a huge disrespect to the Legislative Assembly Speaker’s decision. The matter may be in the Supreme Court, but the court has not stayed the disqualification. The reasons for the meeting was to try and help the disqualified MLA, who is likely to contest the byelections,” Mr. Hussain said.

The proposal on bifurcation is being seen as a move by Mr. Yediyurappa to promote Mr. Singh as a counterweight to the Reddy Brothers and Health and Family Welfare Minister B. Sriramulu. This has not gone down well with the latter.

After the meeting on Wednesday, Mr. Sriramulu and Revenue Minister R. Ashok briefed the media on the outcome of the meeting and said that the Chief Minister had listened to multiple voices of both the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress. “The meeting remained inconclusive and Mr. Yediyurappa agreed on the necessity of a wider consultation on the matter to arrive at a consensus on the issue,” said Mr. Sriramulu.

In the meeting, responding to the argument that carving out Vijayangara district out of Ballari district was necessary owing to its historical significance, Mr. Hussain suggested to the Chief Minister to rename the Ballari district as Vijayangara district.

‘Why only two?’

Responding to the narrative of Mr. Singh that smaller districts can be governed better, Congress MLAs P.T. Parameshwara Naik and Bheema Naik demanded formation of two to three taluks of the Ballari into two or three districts. BJP legislators opposed the splitting of the district. Mr. Parameshwara Naik wanted his constituency, Hoovina Hadagali, to be headquarters of the newly-carved district, while Mr. Bhima Naik wanted Hagaribommanahalli to be the headquarters.

Mr. Bhima Naik suggested to the Chief Minister to constitute a committee to look into the bifurcation of the districts in the State. Though his constituency Hagaribommanahalli was backward on all fronts, it could be developed after it becomes district headquarters of the newly-formed district, he said. Mr. Hussain said: “Every MLA wanted his constituency to be headquarters of the new district of Ballari. The mood in the meeting was totally against bifurcation of the district.”

Congress MLC Allam Veerabhadrappa said formation of Vijayanagara district out of Ballari district would benefit only Mr. Singh, who is expected to contest on BJP ticket in the bypolls.

All legislators, except E. Tukaram and G.N. Ganesh of the Congress, attended the meeting. Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi and top government officials also attended.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 10:42:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/legislators-corner-anand-singh-at-ballari-bifurcation-meeting/article29577632.ece

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