Bengaluru, Feb 18, 2020: The Congress party led by the Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly, Siddaramaiah, on Tuesday walked out of the House after a heated argument over the issue of the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens.
An argument ensued after Basavaraj Bommai accused Chittapur MLA and former Minister Priyank Kharge of being the leader of the ’tukde tukde’ gang. With the Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri allowing discussion on Siddaramaiah’s preliminary submission only on Wednesday, the Congress MLAs walked out of the assembly and the session was adjourned.
How the argument began
Siddaramaiah had tabled a motion on Tuesday on behalf of the Congress party to discuss the issue of law and order in the state. This was in the backdrop of two people who died in the police firing during anti-CAA protests in Mangaluru and also the indiscriminate slapping of sedition cases against protesters and those expressing dissent. Siddaramaiah said that the law and order situation in the state has shattered completely.
An argument ensued when Home Minster Basavarj Bommai interrupted Siddaramaiah’s speech about how the state government stifling freedom of expression. Bommai accused the Congress party of destroying the democracy and stifling free speech. “Has the Congress party gained consciousness now? Do you finally regret imposing an Emergency and taking away the rights of people?” Basavarj Bommai questioned.
He said that the Congress government under former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had blacked out the press and stifled fundamental rights. Siddaramaiah, however, stated that he did not wish to discuss the issue.
“You are a party that destroyed the Constitution and misused it. Who sent journalists to jail? Who stifled Freedom of Expression?,” Tourism Minister CT Ravi questioned.
An angry KS Eshwarappa, the Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, shot out of his seat and said that the Congress party members were experts at stifling dissent “Are you people (Congress) talking about the Constitution and stifling dissent? When we talk about Indira Gandhi, you say we can’t talk about it. Who sent Advani and Jayaprakash Narayan to jail? What anti-national activities did they do? You are the ones who destroyed the Constitution. Now you are talking about the Constitution. How fair is it?” Eshwarappa said.
When Bommai accused Priyank Kharge of leading the tukde tukde gang
Angered by Eshwarappa’s outburst, Siddaramaiah said that the Emergency was announced in 1975 but in the current situation, it is an undeclared emergency. “BJP people are not contractors for Citizenship in this country. All people in this country are sons and daughters of Bharat Mata,” Siddaramaiah said.
Basavaraj Bommai intervened and accused the Congress leaders of being a part of the “tukde tukde gang” in response to Siddaramaiah’s outburst.
A ruckus broke out with ministers Basavaraj Bommai, CT Ravi and KS Eshwarappa accusing the Congress of being the tukde tukde gang, whilst Congress MLAs Priyank Kharge, Siddaramaiah, KJ George and Ramalinga Reddy accusing the BJP of slapping sedition cases against dissenters.
“Who is the tukde tukde gang? Please tell us. We also want to know,” Priyank Kharge said.
Basavaraj Bommai held up a bunch of papers and pointedly said that he had all the information and said, " "You people are the tukde tudke gang. You (Priyank Kharge) are the leader of the tukde tukde gang."
“Arrest us then, slap sedition cases against us. Isn’t that what your government has been doing? Arrest us. Arrest us now!” Priyank Kharge shouted.
“Innocent people are being sacrificed because of harassment from your government,” said Dinesh Gundu Rao, MLA from Gandhinagar. Reacting to this, BJP MLA Basangouda Patil Yatnal shouted, “Who went to Pakistan and ate biryani and came back? Our Prime Minister or your Prime Minister? Everyone knows who ate the biryani,” Basangouda said
Speaker Kageri intervened and allowed Siddaramaiah to finish his submission. However, he said that the issue of CAA and NRC and the state of law and order must be discussed on Wednesday after which the Congress MLAs staged a walkout. The session was adjourned for Wednesday.
Courtesy:The News Minute