Belagavi: Drama and discord marked the first day of the winter session of the state legislature that got underway here on Tuesday with the BJP training its guns on the government on the sugarcane farmers’ issue and the JDS demanding the House stick to the agenda. As chaos reigned, the House was adjourned without transacting any business.
Giving a touch of drama to the events, Hebbal MLA, Jagadish Kumar, sporting a huge photograph of Mahatma Gandhi on his body, began to play the ‘thala’ and had Marshals rushing to him to confiscate both the photo and the bell shaped musical instrument. The din only intensified as JD(S) members rushing to the well of the House, demanding the government take up the question hour as scheduled.
Soon after the House met, former CM and BJP leader, Jagadish Shettar and former Deputy CM, R Ashok urged the government to allow them to move an adjournment motion on the sugarcane farmers’ issue, setting aside the question hour. But when Mr Thimmappa refused to allow this saying the issue could be debated later under Rule 69, BJP members rushed into the well of the House, shouting slogans against the government and accusing it of being soft on Naxals, but hard on the farmers.
They almost relented after Mr Thimmappa once again promised to allow a discussion under Rule 69, but turned adamant again when CM Siddaramaiah interrupted to say any debate on the farmers’ problems would have to take place only after question hour. Left with no option, Mr Thimmappa adjourned the House for half an hour.
When it reassembled, BJP members continued their protest even as some JD(S) members recorded the din on their mobile phones and demanded that question hour be held. To step up pressure on the Speaker, several of the JD(S) members, led by Mr H D Revanna rushed into the well of the House as well, urging him not to give in to the BJP’s demand. As the chaso refused to die down, Mr Thimmappa once again adjourned the House till 3 pm.
Speaking to reporters later, Mr Revanna said he had asked a question on a Rs 100 crore scam related to the Kempe Gowda layout formed by the BDA , and had appealed to the BJP members to rake up their issue after question hour, but they had instead gone ahead with t heir agenda. “I wanted to raise a very important issue but instead they wanted publicity by stalling the House,” he regretted dmitting to being disappointed at the party’s decision to reject his candidature for Dakshina Kannada, Mr Harsha Moily, son of Union minister, Veerappa Moily, however, put on a brave face on Tuesday, saying it was not the end of his political career.
While careful not to seem confrontationist, he did argue at length that any decision pertaining to rejection of candidates in primaries should be left to a board or group of leaders and not to any one person. “The decision to accept or reject my application was left to the AICC general secretary in charge of primaries and unfortunately he took the view that I am not eligible. His understanding of the criterion involved was different from mine. Though I do not agree with his stance, I have come to accept it in the interest of the Congress party,” he told reporters here.
In his view providing arbitrary and discretionary powers to one individual did not make the primaries transparent and defeated their purpose which was to make the ticket allotment fair.
Taking pains to explain why he believed he was qualified for the primaries under the third criteria mentioned in the candidate handbook which says that a ” person of standing in public service/social cause and who is not a member of any other political party,’ is free to contest them, he said, “I have been serving the public as a trustee and secretary of Kisan Sabha Trust which is engaged in the management of a charitable school for children from low income families. And as the MD and CEO of Moksha-Yug Access India Private Limited (MYA) I have contributed to the economic upliftment of dairy farmers in rural India.”
Mr Moily hastened to add that “Any pioneering exercise will always have its initial hiccups and its process, , guidelines and execution will evolve over time.”