Karnataka Speaker pulls up govt over absence of ministers in House

Bengaluru: Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa on Thursday pulled up the government over absence of ministers in the House during a discussion on development activities in north Karnataka. As the House met for the day, the Opposition pointed out the absence of most of the ministers and the vacant front row of the treasury benches to the Chair and questioned whether they should address the vacant benches. Information Technology Minister SR Patil, Women and Child Development Minister Umashree, Textiles Minister Baburao Chinchansur, and Public Works Minister HC Mahadevappa were the only ministers present in the House. BJP’s Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri attacked the government, saying, “In this government, Housing Minister is miffed with the Chief Minister and has left to Bengaluru, Chinchansur has been accused of cheating in a cheque bounce case, Minor Irrigation Minister Shivaraj Tangadagi is accused of shielding murderers of a youth in Koppal and Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya’s Ministry is involved in a scam. What is happening?” “What is the use of running the House like this when most of the ministers are absent? Do we have to speak to vacant chairs?” he said. To this, Mahadevappa said there is “nothing wrong” within the government and everyone is functioning efficiently. The Speaker then intervened and questioned the government about the ministers’ absence. “What other work do ministers have other than attending the House? Why don’t they come? What do they think of this House?” he said. He also pointed out at the absence of MLAs on both sides. JD(S)’ YSV Datta accused the ministers of being irresponsible. “When the crucial issue of development of north Karnataka is being discussed, ministers are absent. They don’t have any interest,” he claimed. Congress’ Ramesh Kumar said, “Ministers in the government and us as members of this House should be responsible towards this House or else people who elect us will lose faith and respect towards the Legislature.” As Opposition Leader Jagadish Shettar pointed out the presence of Chinchansur and spoke about allegations of cheating in a cheque bounce case against him, Congress members objected to it, saying it was his personal issue, following which the Speaker asked Shettar to continue with his debate on north Karnataka issue that he initiated last evening.