Hitting back, Siddaramaiah questioned the BJP on its "double standards"

news Monday, March 28, 2016 - 15:44

Opposition BJP on Monday continued its protest both inside and outside the state legislature, demanding withdrawal of the newly created Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), even as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah made it clear that there was no question of going back.

BJP, led by its state president Prahlad Joshi, former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and other leaders staged a day-long dharna before the Mahatma Gandhi statue, demanding withdrawal of the ACB, alleging that it was an attempt to make the Lokayukta body "defunct".

As soon as the Assembly met for the day, BJP members raised the issue and demanded that the ACB be withdrawn.

"Government should reconsider its decision about ACB; it will have to maintain status quo. No attempt should be made to destabilise Lokayukta," senior BJP leader Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri said.

"If the government does not reconsider, we will take our agitation to the streets. You will have to face the curse of the people," he said.

Reacting to this, Siddaramaiah said there was no question of withdrawing the ACB.

"People won't curse us, they will curse you instead. There is no question of withdrawing ACB, it has been constituted and we will go ahead with it," he said.

Leader of Opposition Jagadish Shettar pointed out that the Speaker had called for a meeting on the issue and on strengthening Lokayukta on March 31. "Let's discuss it there.

Until then at least maintain status quo. Don't be in a hurry." 

Siddaramaiah said the meeting is only about strengthening Lokayukta and there was no need for reconsidering government's decision on ACB.

Kageri noted that most Ministers were absent from the House and said "such decisions of yours have led to this situation... look, most of your Ministers are not with you." 

Hitting back, Siddaramaiah questioned the BJP on its "double standards", saying that ACB exists in several BJP-ruled states like Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai asked the Chief Minister not to compare Karnataka with other states as its Lokayukta is considered a model to others, and said, "Give all ACB powers back to the Lokayukta." 

Intervening, Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa brought the House back to order and asked Congress MLA Basavaraj Raya Reddy to continue with the discussion on the state budget.

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