KARNATAKA

Council passes law varsity Bill, suggestions accepted

Staff Correspondent

Opposition protests against ‘insult’ to presiding officers

Belgaum: The Legislative Council passed the Karnataka State Law University Bill, 2009 on Saturday.

The Bill, which was passed in the Assembly on Friday, came up for discussion in the Council on the concluding day of the nine-day Belgaum legislature session. It was passed after a two-and-a-half-hour discussion, with Law Minister S. Suresh Kumar accepting suggestions made by the Opposition to amend certain sections and clauses in the Bill.

The Opposition protested against what it termed “an insult” to the offices of the Speaker and the Council Chairman, whose names were not found in order on an invitation card.

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Ugrappa and senior members M.C. Nanaiah, M.P. Nadagouda, Basavaraj Horatti, Y.S.V. Datta and others demanded that the presiding officers of both the Houses of the legislature stop participating in functions organised by the Government, which seemed to have no respect for their high offices.

Chairman Veeranna Mathikatti, who expressed displeasure at the manner in which the Government had treated him on some recent occasions, said he had been picked up Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa in a helicopter to participate in a function. On reaching the venue, there was no chair for him.

Mr. Nanaiah said the Government was converting all government functions into BJP affairs by throwing all norms to the winds and breaching protocol related to the offices of the presiding officers. The Opposition would move a privilege motion against the Government during the next session of the legislature, he said.

The House also witnessed heated arguments with Mr. Nanaiah taking strong objection to the “body language” of Excise Minister Katta Subramanya Naidu while addressing the Chair. He said there was lack of respect in the ruling BJP for leaders from the Opposition (who were not invited to participate in the bhoomi puja ceremony for the Suvarna Soudha).

However, Mr. Suresh Kumar tendered an unconditional apology to the Chair on behalf of Mr. Naidu and assured the House that such incidents would not be repeated.

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