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Row paralyses Council work

Staff Reporter

In thelegislature Minister misled the House, says Opposition

BANGALORE: Members of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal (United) stalled proceedings in the Legislative Council for the second day on Thursday demanding the resignation of the Information Minister, B. Shivaram, for "misleading the House" by going back on his allegation against his Cabinet colleague, H.D. Revanna. The Minister has attracted provisions of breach of privilege of the House, they contended.

The Opposition members also referred to the reported statement of the Minister for Horticulture, R. Srinivas, in Kolar, against his party's (Janata Dal -Secular) coalition arrangement with the Congress.

The Leader of Opposition, D.H. Shankaramurthy, and the JD(U) group leader, M.P. Nadagouda, raised both issues in the House and asked how the coalition can function if Ministers make such statements. Mr. Srinivas had reportedly said the JD(S) "protected former Ministers who were tainted."

The Chairman, V.R. Sudarshan, said the Opposition should send him a notice regarding such issues so that he can give an opportunity to the Ministers concerned to reply. He reminded Mr. Shankaramurthy and Dr. Nadagouda that they have not done so before raising the issue of Mr. Shivaram's statement and that of Mr. Srinivas.

At this stage, the Government Chief Whip, Salim Ahmed, requested the chair to take up the question hour as members who had tabled questions were waiting for a reply. But Dr. Nadagouda insisted on presenting his case against the two Ministers.

The Leader of the House, M. Mallikarjun Kharge, appealed to the Leader of the Opposition to follow the rules, and said the Government is ready for a debate. `Unfair demands'

Criticising the Opposition for disrupting the proceedings, the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, said it should not make unfair demands. The coalition headed by him is doing well, and as Chief minister, he knew what action to be taken and is competent to act. The Opposition does not have a right to interfere in these matters. The issue has ended with Mr. Shivaram denying the statement attributed to him, Mr. Singh said.

When Mr. Shankaramurthy wanted to raise the issue again, the Chairman said the ruling party and the Opposition are not ready to change their stated positions and he cannot conduct the proceedings.

He announced the adjournment of the House till 10 a.m. on Friday.

Mr. Shankaramurthy later told presspersons that the BJP will continue its dharna in the House.

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