news Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 05:30
They may be fight each other tooth and nail on the BBMP trifurcation bill, but the mood in the Karnataka Legislative Council was jovial for a while on Monday as MLCs cutting across party lines chuckled appreciatively at Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s digs on their mutual political rivalry. After the lunch break, when the Council re-assembled, Chairman D H Shankaramurthy had placed the bill for voting, but Siddaramaiah rose from his seat and asked to be given permission to speak. Shankaramurthy granted him two minutes, but when other members objected, Siddaramaiah’s witty repartee had everyone in splits. K S Eswarappa, Basavaraj Horatti and K B Shanappa were among those who were most vociferous and were given special attention by Siddaramaiah. Prajavani reported that when Shankaramurthy failed to quiet them, Siddaramaiah said: “Eh, Horatti, the Chairman has given me permission to speak. Shall I speak, or not?” At this, Horatti nodded, and continuing in the same vein, Siddaramaiah said: “If it is left to Horatti’s discretion, he will be ok with anything. But here, he is being given directions by others, that’s why he is opposing (me).” While his remarks drew laughter, it does make one wonder whether all the opposition in the legislature is mere lip service or whether principled opposition and argument exist. What happened next, may be an indication. Siddaramaiah then referred to the BJP having promised to trifurcate the BJP in its manifesto, to which V Sommanna and Ashwathnarayana of the BJP vociferously objected. Siddaramaiah silenced Sommanna with: “Ri… Sommanna, do be quiet!” Then, as if performing for the rest of the house, he added: “Sommanna and I have a pleasant (madhura) relationship. In the past, he has sought my advice on many matters. But he is objecting now for political reasons,” drawing laughter from the treasury benches. The last, however, as Prajavani reported, was the best: Referring to Shanappa who interrupted him on multiple occasions, Siddaramaiah called him “another of his friends” and asked him to sit down. At this, someone from the opposition benches wanted to know: “What about Eshwarappa?” To this Siddaramaiah replied with his usual flair, and at which the whole house, including Eshwarappa himself burst out laughing: “Eshwarappa too is my friend. Ours is a love-hate relationship.”  

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