Karnataka Assembly Ruckus: Police Detain Basavaraj Bommai Amid Protests Over Suspension Of BJP MLAs

Ten MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were suspended from the rest of the Karnataka Assembly session for throwing papers at Deputy Speaker Rudrappa Lamani while he was on his chair. BJP MLAs protesting outside the assembly, including former CM Bommai were detained by Karnataka police.

BJP MLAs tear up bill copies, hurl them at Dy Speaker in Karnataka Assembly

Ten MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were suspended from the rest of the Karnataka Assembly session for throwing papers at Deputy Speaker Rudrappa Lamani while he was on his chair. The suspended MLAs were protesting against the government for deputing IAS officers for welcoming the leaders of opposition parties who had arrived in Bengaluru for the mega opposition meeting starting Monday.

Sunil Kumar, R Ashok, CN Ashwath Narayan, Yashpal Anand Suvarna, D Vedavyas Kamath, Arvind Bellad, Araga Jnanendra, Umanatha Kotian, Dheeraj Muniraju and Bharath Shetty Y, have been suspended for this session. BJP MLAs tore up copies of the Bills passed and threw them at Lamani, who was occupying the Speaker’s chair. Lamani further accused the BJP legislators of targetting him as he hailed from the Dalit community. The House was then adjourned for lunch.

Karnataka Home Minister Dr G Parameshwara condemned the incident, saying, "We have laid out some guidelines, some rules in the house. House rules are there. Nobody prevents them to go and protest...But there is some basic discipline that they have to follow, attacking the chair is something we don't see in the Karnataka legislature...And this has happened. It is unfortunate and we also appeal to the speaker to take some action."

Karnataka BJP MLA Basangouda Patil Yatnal fell unconscious following the ruckus outside the Karnataka Assembly. He has been taken to the hospital. Meanwhile, BJP leaders including former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai considered moving a no-confidence motion against the speaker. "This is the black day for Democracy. There was a murder of democracy today. They (10 BJP MLAs) have been suspended for their small agitation. We will fight for the right of the suspended MLAs," Bommai said. Karnataka Police also detained Bommai along with other leaders who were protesting outside the Karnataka Assembly over the suspension of the BJP leaders.

Deploying IAS officers during Opposition meet

Opposition parties BJP and JD(S) came down heavily on the ruling Congress in Karnataka, for asking IAS officers to welcome political leaders during the two-day meeting of the opposition parties in Bengaluru. Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah clarified that assignments to the officers were made according to the protocol.

Former Karnataka Chief Minister and JD (S) leader HD Kumaraswamy slammed the Congress government for "violating the All India Services (Conduct) Rules by deputing the officers to serve its alliance leaders." He wrote on Twitter, "This is clear violation of All India Services (Conduct) Rules. I was surprised and shocked that officials agreed to do this job knowing that it would dent their self-respect and honour. The Chief Secretary who issued such a controversial order is answerable to the people."

However, CM Siddaramaiah stated that since the officials were only used for welcoming the dignitaries and not for political programmes there was no violation of protocol. “As the Chief Ministers of various states and former Union Ministers who arrived in Bengaluru were considered as state guests and according to protocol, officials were assigned only to welcome all those visiting dignitaries," Siddaramiah said.

Amidst the din, the government passed five Bills in the Assembly, which further angered the opposition. Meanwhile, Minister Krishna Byre Gowda pulled up marshals, who eventually came to the resuce of the Deputy Speaker, for "letting the BJP MLAs throw papers at the Speaker’s chair."