Karnataka: Congress MLA suspended for taking off shirt in assembly | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri on Thursday suspended BK Sangameshwara, a four-time Congress MLA from Bhadravathi in Shivamogga district, for a week for the “disrespectful act” of removing his shirt inside the assembly. The MLA was protesting against the alleged foisting of false cases against him and his family.
Sangameshwara, 58, rushed to the Speaker’s podium and removed his shirt before shouting slogans against chief minister BS Yediyurappa and his family. Kageri took strong exception to it: “As a senior MLA, is this how you behave? You’re insulting your voters.”
Congress slams suspension order against its legislator
Sangameshwara alleged that a false case of attempt to murder had been filed against him and his family in connection with a clash between two groups during a kabaddi match in Bhadravathi on the instruction of CM and his son BY Raghavendra, Shivamogga MP.
He told opposition leader Siddaramaiah: “Your party has ruled for long; look at the way your members conduct themselves. Is this the way to behave? This kind of indiscipline cannot be tolerated.” He then briefly adjourned the House.
KPCC president and Congress chief DK Shivakumar and party colleagues persuaded Sangameshwara to put on his shirt.
The incident occurred as Congress members were protesting from the well of the House against a discussion on ‘One Nation, One Election’ initiated by the Speaker.
When the House reassembled post lunch, Kageri announced the suspension of Sangameshwara for seven days after law and parliamentary affairs minister Basavaraj Bommai moved a motion to suspend him and it was adopted by a voice vote.
Sangameshwara was stopped by marshals from entering the assembly corridor citing the speaker’s orders. But Siddaramaiah and former speaker KR Ramesh Kumar took him to the lounge, only to be stopped by marshals with the suspension order.
The Congress condemned the suspension decision, calling it unilateral and autocratic. They staged a protest, saying they would not allow the House to function till the suspension was revoked. “How can the chair take such a harsh decision without discussing the reasons for suspending the MLA?” questioned Siddaramaiah. He reminded the House that no action was taken when BJP MLA Goolihatti Shekhar had torn his shirt after removing it in the assembly in 2011.
The Speaker, backed by the chief minister, turned down the demand. “Indiscipline and irresponsible behaviour of members cannot be tolerated. A suspension order has been issued; nothing can be done now,” he said.
Yediyurappa took the Congress to task: “What you are displaying is the height of irresponsibility. How can you support such behaviour?”
The Congress members continued to raise slogans, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for the day.

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Sagar Biswas

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