Stormy start to Karnataka session, governor abandons speech midway

Written by Political Bureau | Bangalore | Updated: Jan 8 2011, 05:18am hrs
The first day of the Karnataka Legislature in the New Year began on a stormy note on Thursday with the Opposition forcing governor HR Bharadwaj to abandon his speecha customary extolling of the governments achievements midway.

As Bharadwaj started reading out the government prepared speech in his joint address to the two houses of the Legislature, the Opposition was on its feet, asking him not to praise a number one corrupt government.

As the Oppositions demands grew louder, the governor was forced to abandon his speech praising the very BS Yeddyurappa-led BJP whose removal he had recommended on October 12 last year following a tricky trust vote. Bharadwaj then left the state Assembly amid calls to dismiss the government.

The opening day was indication enough of how the session will shape up in the coming days. After the governor left, the Opposition demanded the resignation of chief minister BS Yeddyurappa on charges of corruption and the government countering the attack. Yeddyurappa called the disruption of the governors speech unfortunate and said that the Opposition had disrespected the democratic process. Days before the session, the Congress and JDS had jointly decided to urge the governor to desist from delivering the speech because it praised a corrupt government whose members had called him an agent of the Congress.

We asked the governor not to deliver his speech because it is the speech of a corrupt government. This government had called the Governor an agent of the Congress, Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah said. JDS leader M C Nanaiah said: Several ministers have called the government corrupt. There are several inquiries pending against ministers, even against the CM. In this context we felt it would not be correct for the Governor to praise the government.

The JDS leader compared the governors action to that of former Bihar governor Rama Jois who did not address a legislature session in protest against corrupt practices in the then Bihar government.

By not allowing the Governor to speak, the Opposition has tried to deny us the opportunity to showcase our achievements. But the speech is on record as per law and our achievements are on record for the public, Yeddyurappa said.

He refused to say whether the governor had played into the hands of the Opposition. I wont comment ...The governor has performed his constitutional duties, he said.