Empty seats marked the first day of the Karnataka Assembly’s winter session at Belagavi’s Suvarna Soudha.
On Monday, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, KB Koliwad adjourned the session due to lack of quorum.
The Assembly met at 11 am on Monday morning with only 20 of the 225 MLAs gracing their seats. In fact, only 11 of the 28 Cabinet Ministers were present.
Even Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Jagadish Shettar dropped in late, arriving at around 11:45am.
Even as the winter session was set to begin, several BJP leaders including state President BS Yeddyurappa took part in the Parivarthana Rally at Kundapura, while Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee leaders and President Dr G Parameshwara went on a bike rally to Tumakuru.
Speaker KB Koliwad was forced to announce that the session would commence after the required 10% quorum was met, or in other words 24 MLAs were present in the House.
Expressing concern over the absent MLAs, Speaker Koliwad expressed his displeasure over the laxity on behalf of legislators.
“Today (Monday) is the first day of the special legislative session and many legislators are absent. With a lot of pain, I would like to say that the House is being adjourned for lack of quorum,” Koliwad added.
At around 12.00 pm, the count had increased to 48 but this number fell as the BJP-led opposition decided to boycott the session and walked out of the Assembly. The opposition claimed that they would continue the boycott until Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George and Energy Minister DK Shivakumar resign from their ministerial posts.
“The CBI has named KJ George in the FIR related to the death of DySP Ganapathi. When the SIT was probing the case, he had resigned. We demand that he resign now as well. Also, we all know how many crores of illegal assets DK Shivakumar holds after the I-T raids. We demand that these ministers resign. Until then, the BJP will boycott the Assembly session,” Jagadish Shettar, Leader of Opposition in Vidhan Sabha said.
Proceedings in the Assembly resumed at 3pm, with the number of legislators present in the House going up to 75 members. However, the House was adjourned shortly after obituary references were made.
Meanwhile, the Vidhan Parishad or the Legislative Council witnessed heated proceedings, with Leader of Opposition KS Eshwarappa moving an adjournment motion, reported The Hindu.
While members debated on whether the motion should be taken up, the House was adjourned after BJP leaders protested and sloganeered.