Bangalore, July 26, 2013: BJP MLCs staged a dharna in the Legislative Council on Friday alleging that “goonda politics” was on the rise and that the Chief Minister’s Office was being misused by “his people.”
They claimed that Siddramaiah’s “people” were creating a security threat at the Vidhana Soudha by barging into the premises and creating a ruckus with the security personnel.
According to Opposition leader Sadananda Gowda, people claiming to be Congress office-bearers had abused guards for not letting them in without the mandatory security check.
“These people said they are from the chief minister’s hometown and barged in without a security check,” Gowda said. “I was a witness to this incident where the security personnel were almost manhandled.”
Gowda alleged that certain Kannada dailies had quoted the Raichur Deputy Commissioner as claiming that he was receiving calls from Siddramaiah’s office persuading him to grant mining licences in the region. “Newspapers have reported that a certain Venkatesh had contacted the DC’s office in the name of the chief minister. I do not know who this Venkatesh is, but the allegations are serious,” Gowda said. “People are using the chief minister’s name and bringing a bad reputation to the chair.”
When Minister R V Deshpande objected to the newspaper reports and said the issue must not be blown out of proportion, BJP members mounted a collective retort.
The situation worsened when Congress member Allamaprabhu Patil said the allegations were “BJP’s handiwork to tarnish the Congress’ image.”
A fuming Gowda retaliated, “Maybe the persons involved are supporters of Allamaprabhu. We are not scared of such goonda politics.” He led the members into the well of the House and staged a protest.
Leader of the House S R Patil promised that action will be taken against people indulging in such activities and requested the members to drop the dharna. He said the phrase “goonda politics” should be removed from the Council proceedings. Gowda, however, stood his ground. “This is a serious matter,” he said. “Should I be laughing all the time even when attacked?”
JD(S) members Basavaraj Horatti and M C Nanaiah demanded that security checks be
made mandatory for everyone entering the Vidhana Soudha, including the legislators.
The dharna ended after Chairman D H Shankaramurthy assured the House that a solution would be achieved after meeting with the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the chief minister and, if need be, the Opposition leaders, to step up vigilance and security at the secretariat.