Yogish Bhat elected Karnataka deputy speaker amid uproar

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Bangalore, 11 January 2011: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday pushed through election of its legislator as Karnataka deputy speaker amid bedlam in the assembly over alleged land scams and illegal mining in the state.



Brushing aside opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) parties’ demand for putting off the election of deputy speaker, the BJP members elected by voice vote their legislator N. Yogish Bhat to the post.


The BJP justified having its legislators as both speaker and deputy speaker, though the tradition in the country is to leave the deputy speaker’s post for an opposition legislator.


Law Minister S. Suresh Kumar said since 1985 to 2004, no ruling party had followed this tradition.


For the second day Tuesday, the house did not transact any business as Congress and JD-S members continued to shout slogans near the speaker’s chair for most part of the day, demanding the acceptance of their adjournment motion to debate land scams and illegal mining.


Speaker K.G. Bopaiah has disallowed the motion while accepting the government contention that the issues can be raised during discussion on motion of thanks to the governor for his address to the house Jan 6.


The assembly saw an angry outburst of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa against JD-S leader H.D. Revanna, his younger brother former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and their father and former prime minister and party president H.D. Deve Gowda.


At one stage, Yeddyurappa held up thick files and told Revanna: "these contain scams of ’appa-makkalu’ (father and sons)". This was a reference to Revanna, Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy, now a Lok Sabha member.


The JD-S is dubbed as "thande-makkala paksha" (father and sons’ party) as all top positions in the party are held by Gowda and his two sons. Revanna is the leader of the JD-S in the assembly.


Yeddyurappa pleaded with the Congress not to join hands with the JD-S in disrupting the assembly saying "you know whoever has dealt with the ’thande-makkala paksha’ have suffered".


"You are a national party and the BJP is a national party. Let only these two national parties fight each other and let the JD-S be rooted out of the state," the chief minister said.


The JD-S has taken the lead in attacking Yeddyurappa over land scams including favouring his kin in allotment of prime land in and around Bangalore.


Yeddyurappa is opposed to the JD-S as Kumaraswamy did not keep his word after joining hands with the BJP to become chief minister in 2006.


Kumaraswamy was to vacate the chief minister’s chair for Yeddyurappa after 20 months, but he didn’t.


Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah of the Congress said the opposition would not allow any business in the house till the government agreed for their adjournment motion.


He also rejected Yeddyurappa’s plea not to join hands with the JD-S saying "you shared power with them when it was convenient and now you are opposing it", he said.



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