news Saturday, July 26, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | July 26, 2014 | 4.22 pm IST Covering the legislature sessions can sometimes spring a pleasant surprise. Thursday was one such day. The Karnataka Assembly witnessed a rather engaging session, with a very liberal smattering of irony, wit, and political one-upmanship between the BJP and the ruling Congress.  Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s response to a question by Leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar, left the BJP rather red-faced in the Assembly on Thursday. Two days later, however, the BJP attacked the Congress with renewed vigour, staging protests against the Chief Minister in Bangalore over the denotification of land in the state Capital. It all started when Shettar asked the Chief Minister why the government had denotified 451 acres of land in Arkavathy layout. Alleged denotification of land in the layout in the past had given the Congress much ammunition against the BJP, which was then in power in the state. Siddaramaiah, known to be an intelligent and witty orator with a flair for drama as well, came armed with a response.  Mentioning a date, the Chief Minister said that a particular plot of land with a certain area had been denotified. In whose tenure did this happen?, he asked, and after a pause, answered his own question: B S Yeddyurappa. This he repeated with two other dates and alleged instances of denotification, which had been carried out when Yeddyurappa of the BJP was the chief minister.  The third time this happened, Siddaramaiah asked once more: During whose tenure did this happen? When Siddaramaiah did not answer his own question, Shettar, asked: Whose tenure? Go on, tell me...  The very same Yeddyurappa, was the reply. At this juncture, K R Ramesh Kumar who is the Congress MLA from Srinivaspura, Kolar district, stood up said it was not right to talk about the former chief minister when he was not around. Its not right to talk about B S Yeddyurappa like this when he is not present in the Assembly. Namma nayaka Siddaramaiah avaru mathu vipakshada nayakaru Jagadish Shettar avaru ottu seri avaru sadanadalli allade iddaga, Yeddyurappa avara manu haraju madtha iddare.  (Our leader Siddaramaiah and the Leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar are both joining together to spoil his name when he is not here.) For a while, the banter continued. Shettar said in an equally jovial manner: Ramesh Kumar is diverting the attention of the house (by talking like this). Kumar immediately retorted: I am a great admirer of B S Yeddyurappa. If this (talk about Yeddyurappa) doesn’t stop, H D Kumaraswamy and I will go on a hunger strike. The rest of the members cracked up in laughter listening to this statement. Not to be outdone, Siddaramaiah told his fellow party member: Ramesh Kumar, you are a lawyer. Im sure this was how you used to win cases. But you did not even go to court regularly. Then came Ramesh Kumar’s inspired reply: Yeddyurappa had actually approached me for the case, but I declined. After this, incredibly, the chief minister repeated all the remarks that he made on the denotification before Ramesh Kumar interrupted him. Finally, he mentioned a date in January 2013 and a particular case of denotification. In whose tenure did this happen? Siddaramaiah asked. When no answer was forthcoming, he said: Jagadish Shettar. This was the figurative slap on the BJP's collective face. Siddaramaiah continued: I had to denotify the land. There was a High Court order. What could I do. It has to be obeyed. However, despite the verbal drubbing it received, the BJP did not let the matter rest. MLAs alleged that exceeded the mandate of the guidelines issued by the Karnataka High Court, and demanded that the case be handed over to the CBI for investigation. And on Saturday, it was business as usual. The BJP has staged protests demanding that the denotification of land in Arkavathy layout be handed over to the CBI.
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