Karnataka speaker defends suspension of 10 BJP MLAs, calls for non-politicisationtext_fields
Bengaluru: Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker U T Khader has defended his decision to suspend 10 BJP members for the remainder of the session, citing their "indecent and disrespectful" conduct in the House.
The suspension came after chaotic scenes in the Assembly, where angry BJP legislators tore copies of bills and the agenda and threw them at Deputy Speaker Rudrappa Lamani. However, the Speaker asserted that the action was not politically motivated and not taken under any pressure from the ruling party.
Khader emphasised the responsibility of ensuring the smooth conduct of the Assembly, stating that he had to take action against members who behaved in an indecent manner and disrespected the Chair. He clarified that the suspension was not based on party issues but aimed at maintaining discipline in the legislative body.
The controversial incident occurred when opposition BJP and JD(S) members protested against the Congress government's alleged deputation of 30 IAS officers to serve its alliance leaders. The BJP legislators' protest disrupted the proceedings, leading to the Speaker's decision to suspend them. Facing opposition from the BJP and JD(S), who gave a notice of no-confidence against him as Speaker, Khader defended his decision to allow discussions on the alleged misuse of IAS officers. He acknowledged having called for a meeting to request smooth conduct of the Assembly, but the BJP insisted on continuing their protest.
Despite the protests, Khader carried on with the proceedings to ensure the timely passage of bills and the budget discussion. He stated that he had left the House temporarily and appointed the Deputy Speaker to officiate while he attended a scheduled special board meeting.
The Speaker maintained that the action taken against the indiscipline of the Deputy Speaker was necessary and that he did not favour any party. He expressed confidence in the cooperation of all members in running the House in the future. Responding to BJP's allegation of attending a "political dinner," he clarified that he had only attended a dinner hosted in honour of state guests, on the Chief Minister's invitation, and not any political meeting. He emphasised his conduct as inclusive and within the limits of his position as Speaker.
Regarding the no-confidence notice, he simply stated that everything would proceed according to the rules. Meanwhile, the opposition BJP and JD(S) boycotted the Assembly proceedings to protest against the Speaker's decision. He also revealed that none of the opposition leaders had approached him to reconsider the suspension decision. He reiterated that the responsibility of maintaining decorum in the Assembly required him to take necessary action.