High drama in Vidhana Soudha following two more Congress MLA resignations

Media gathered in front of K.J. George's chamber

Media gathered in front of K.J. George's chamber   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

M.T.B Nagaraj and K. Sudhakar resign, taking the total number of resignations from Congress and JDS to 16.

The corridors of the Vidhan Soudha on Wednesday witnessed the unfolding of a political drama triggered by the resignations of Congress legislators K. Sudhakar (Chickballapur) and Housing Minister M.T.B. Nagaraj (Hoskote). It ended with the former having to be escorted out by the Police Commissioner to the Raj Bhavan, amid trading of charges by the Congress and the BJP.

On a day the BJP knocked on the doors of Governor Vajubhai Vala over Speaker Ramesh Kumar’s decision to hold an inquiry before accepting the resignations of 11 Congress-JD(S) legislators, Mr. Sudhakar and Mr. Nagaraj tenderered their resignations.

Soon, theatrics began with KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao, Social Welfare Minister Priyanka Kharge and former MLC Nazeer Ahmed blocking Mr. Sudhakar near the back entrance of the Vidhan Soudha and physically restrained him from leaving. They took him into the chambers of Industries Minister K.J. George to convince him to withdraw his resignation.

BJP leaders who had got wind of this rushed to the spot and staged a dharna in front of the closed doors, and urged the Congress leaders to let go of Mr. Sudhakar. Another team of leaders led by BJP MLC Ravi Kumar approached the Speaker to seek his intervention.

They also filed a written complaint with the Speaker’s office.

Siddaramaiah speaking to Sudhakar in the chamber of George.

Siddaramaiah speaking to Sudhakar in the chamber of George.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Mr. Ravi Kumar also accused the Congress of “taking away” Chikkodi-Sadalaga legislator and Congress whip Ganesh Hukkeri, who also met the Speaker on Wednesday evening.

The situation became tense with the arrival of former Chief Minister and Congress Legislative Party leader Siddaramaiah. even as crowd swelled in the corridors with workers and leaders from both parties gathered outside. They raised slogans against each other while BJP legislators sat on a dharna and tried to force their way inside the chamber.

Outside Vidhana Soudha, former BJP Minister Renukacharya and Urban Development Minister U.T. Khader got into a verbal spat that threatened to spill out of control. Police, who were taken by surprise, shut gates of Vidhan Soudha and deployed additional personnel to prevent any untowards incident.

Nearly two hours after Dr. Sudhakar was taken into the chambers, he was finally escorted out by Mr. Kharge and Bengaluru Police Commissioner Alok Kumar amidst slogans against BJP by Congress workers. Mr. Kharge downplaying the incident said, “He is not a child. I did not drag him but only requested him to meet the KPCC President and he obliged.” Later, Dr. Sudhakar met the Governor and handed over his resignation letter to him too.

Meanwhile, defending the Congress leaders’ actions, Mr. Siddaramaiah asked if Dr. Sudhakar is a BJP MLA or a worker for them to intervene. “What is BJP’s business in this? As a CLP leader I am here to talk to him. Why should I not convince him? The BJP leaders are taking law into their hands and behaving like rowdies.”


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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 8:32:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/two-more-ministers-resign-amidst-high-drama-in-vidhana-soudha/article28354761.ece

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