Sex scandal continues to rock Karnataka Assembly; Finance bills passed amid din

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Bengaluru, Mar 24 (PTI) Finance bills were passed by the Karnataka Legislative assembly on Wednesday amid din over the sex scandal allegedly involving BJP leader and former Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, which continued to rock the proceedings for the third consecutive day.

Opposition Congress members who have been protesting from the well of the House since Monday, continued to disrupt the proceedings today as well under Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah's leadership, demanding a court-monitored probe into the sex scandal, and to book Ramesh Jarkiholi for rape.

They also demanded that six ministers, who moved the court for an injunction against the publication or broadcast of any unverified news about them, resign, saying they are 'morally unfit'.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa whose reply on the budget discussion was continuously disrupted by the protesting legislators, condemned Congress' conduct and said people were watching the developments and will teach them a lesson in the days to come.

As the House met for the day, Congress members trooped into the well of the House to continue with their protest by raising slogans against the government.

Senior BJP MLA K G Bopaiah, objecting to the protest, questioned the opposition as to how the government can ask the Chief Justice to monitor any probe.

'Can the government write such a letter to the Chief Justice, Judicial probe is a different matter.' As Congress members continued their protest with slogans like 'Down Down BJP government' 'Down Down CD government', some BJP legislators questioned the grand old party's morality.

Intervening, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the Congress was unnecessarily disrupting the proceedings and infringing on the rights of the other members who want to participate, and called it 'anti democratic', 'anti constitutional' and against the law.

Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar too said Congress should be ashamed of their conduct as he questioned their morality by accusing them of hushing up the sex scandal, involving former minister H Y Meti, while in power.

As his repeated requests for cooperation in conducting the business of the House went unheard, Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri said that he was tabling the answers of the question house, and requested the Chief Minister to begin his reply on the budget discussion.

Yediyurappa read out his reply to the budget discussion amid continued sloganeering by Congress MLAs from the well, against the government.

At the end of his reply on the budget, Yediyurappa hit out the opposition Congress and its leaders for unnecessarily protesting and wasting time, aimed at disrupting the budget session.

'As they dont have any issue they are doing it, I condemn it. People of the state are watching you and will teach a lesson in the days to come, you can't achieve anything from it,' he said.

After the CM's reply, the Speaker put the appropriation bills, supplementary estimates, and related financial bills including Fiscal Responsibility (Amendment) Bill 2021 that were tabled, to vote, and they were passed amid din.

The Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurements (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was also passed by the assembly.

Announcing that the budget and related finance bills have been passed, the Speaker said he was pained as the Congress MLAs are not cooperating in conducting the proceedings of the House.

Noting that the passage of the budget and making the legislations are most important responsibilities on the members of this House, he said, 'you not cooperating for is unfortunate.

If you have a difference of opinion with the government you can do anything outside the House, allow the house to function.' As his repeated appeals went in vein, the Speaker then adjourned the House for post lunch. PTI KSU ROH ROH